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Numerous parental complaints about bus routes have prompted the Cambridge School Committee to pass a motion last night to review the city's current bus-transportation program.
E. Denise Simmons, vice chair of the School Committee, expressed safety concerns for young children riding on public school buses at a special meeting at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.
"I've had the pleasure of driving behind a school bus. And it was World War III with the older kids," Simmons said. "We don't want rock 'em, sock 'em robots in the back [of the bus]."
Simmons motioned for a study to consider the use of school-bus monitors to enforce proper student behavior. Included in the study, at the request of committee member Alice L. Turkel, will be an analysis of bus routes and student pickup and dropoff needs.
Currently, many students do not wait for the bus at their assigned stop, choosing instead to walk a few blocks to a friend's stop. In the afternoon, similar problems arise with students' visiting friends and other children attending after-school programs. Bus routes must accomodate the students schedules, Turkel said.
The committee also heard a brief presentation on school Internet policy by director of management services James Conry. Beginning on Jan. 1, 1998, all students above the fifth grade will be entitled to individual accounts through their schools. The Tobin, Agassiz, Longfellow and Morse elementary schools are currently connected to the Internet. Although Cambridge does not have a filter program to censor inappropriate material from the World Wide Web, the committee agreed to study the issue at a later date.
The seven members of the committee easily outnumbered the handful of citizens in the audience.
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