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Brunswick County school using GPS

READ MORE: A Brunswick County school is using GPS
School officials in Brunswick County are working to keep up with their students even out of the classroom. Students at Union Elementary in Shallotte will be the first to take a trip on a bus outfitted with Global Positioning System, or GPS. Each student will carry an identification card that will be scanned when they get on and off the bus. This will let officials know that students and buses are in the right place at the right time. Brunswick County Transportation Director Bobby Taylor said, "We are very excited about it. To be able to effectively and efficiently route, and know where our buses are and keeping our buses online and on course of what we are doing with transporting the most precious cargo we actually transport in North Carolina." Mr. Taylor said the GPS will come in handy in the event of an emergency, like an accident or lost child. School officials will be able to access information online about which students are onboard. Union Assistant Principal Vickie Smith said this is technology that can put parents at ease. “It means safety and it means information for our students and their parents. Because now if a parent calls and a child hasn't gotten home from school yet and our buses are running a little late we'll be able to go into the computer and track them and tell them exactly where their child is,” said Smith. While administrators like the idea, the GPS system is getting mixed reviews from parents. Concerned parent, Sharon Milliken said, "I think a school official should know at all time where that school bus is at. They got cell phones now and they could do it like that. They don't have to have the GPS where you can take and track a child that way." Tracy Purcell, an elementary school parent said, "It's a great idea so that they can track them if anything happens." The $250,000 price tag for the GPS system will come out of the Brunswick County school budget. The district hopes to have GPS installed on every school bus by the end of October.

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Childrens Safety....not their motive.

I was informed at the beginning of the school year that my 9 year old child would not be dropped off in front of our house due to there being too many stops along the road and they need to conserve gas. The stop was to be in an area where a curve is just ending, people fly down our very busy highway (not a street or side street) but a major road. He would have to walk along that stretch for at least one tenth of a mile (which for a small child is a good distance on a busy highway.) In todays world there are more dangers to our children than it was when we were growing up. I am concerned for the safety of my child as we have speeders talking on cell phones, high school students goofing off with friends in their cars, and not to mention the possible predator lurking around. And with all of this out there the BC Schools System says...he will have to walk! Even though I have made other arrangements for my child I am sure there are other parents out there that cannot do this and they are faced with their children walking down the streets to get home. If the system is lacking in money for gas, why spend the money they have on such unnecessary products? If they are worried about our precious cargo, then why make these little kids walk? Parents of BC Students, we need a change in our system. We need Dr. Katie Magee to wake up and smell the coffee. We need to have someone in that office who actually gives a crap about our children and work for the children and their safety!

childrens safety

Your children are YOUR responsibilty other then when they get onto the bus and get back off the bus after school. YOU as a parent, I don't care what it would take need to be there for your child BEFORE they get onto the bus and when they GET OFF the bus. I hope, no I know there will never be a day in my life where I was to "busy" or there was something more important on a daily bases that would enable me to be there. If you have such a high profile job then all the easier it would be for you to make arrangements. You would be such a asset to your company I'm sure they would understand.

Guest555 - How about you read...

If you woudl read...My statement was... "Even though I have made other arrangements for my child I am sure there are other parents out there that cannot do this and they are faced with their children walking down the streets to get home." As I stated, I HAVE made arrangements for my child as HE COMES FIRST and ABOVE ALL THINGS IN MY LIFE! Who are you to judge and say such things about someone you do not even know. Luckily I am fortunate enough where I DO HAVE A GREAT JOB that will allow me to be there for my child WHENEVER I NEED TO! Unfortunately there are parents that do not have jobs that allow them to leave when they need to and cannot afford to not have a job. You need to get off your righteous butt and see that this is not a perfect world. The whole reason of my comment was to show that the system has their prioritys backwards. It is not safe to let a child off a bus and make them walk on the shoulder of a busy highway. Safety first...GPS??? Get real!

Brunswick Mom

You should read, whoever you are as parents you have to make arrangements. I happen to not have a wonderful paying job because I'm not related to anyone in this county but, I still am there for my kids. You don't have to quit work so don't even go there. You might thought have to get off the couch!


From reading your comment I can understand why or do not have a good job. You just do not make any sense at all. Slow down, Take in throughly what you reading, let it sink in and then reply in a well thought out manner. Stop wasting the comment space on such irrelevant comments. Brunswick Mom has a VERY LEGITIMATE argument.


WOW....I am not understanding your comment at all! In reply toyour "being on the couch" comment.... After working all day, completing chores of a mother of 3 and a proud wife, childrens extra curricular activities such as theatre, football, tae kwon do, dance and others, I dont seem to have much time for the couch much less argue with you over your comments that do not make any sense at all. As far as working in Brunswick County, it is not about who you know or who you are related to, it is about your career choice, experience, and work ethic. I happen to not work for a friend or family member, I just worked really hard to prove myself as a responsible person and mother. Again....get off your soapbox and look at the TOPIC AT HAND...childrens safety before wasteful spending.

Guest 555 That comment

Guest 555 That comment doesn't make any sense!

make sense

It does make sense, you must be one of the parents who sit on the couch!

i go to west brunswick and

i go to west brunswick and every one out there is saying how do they have the money to do this if we have to ride with middle school kids. cause of gas and brunswicks county money


In my opinion, the GPS system is more of a time clock for the bus drivers. Its the schools system's way of making sure the drivers are only paid for the two hours of driving they are allowed. The sales pitch about how it helps to make the kids more safe is just false advertisement. The drivers were given cell phones a few years ago for emergency purposes, so what more can you do to ensure the buses are properly tracked. If you want to ensure the safety of the kids while being transported to and from school, why not start with better treatment of the drivers. Take some of the excess money the school system obviously has on hand and show some appreciation to the drivers. In Bruswick County Schools there are bus drivers that have not received pay raises in years. Additionally, the annual supplement given to bus drivers is $50. Some of the drivers that have been safely carrying our children to school for 20 plus years receive the same $50 supplement as a driver in the position for 2 years. Yes, the director of transportation was correct, the buses carry our most precious cargo. So, why does the school system has such a lack of respect for those we entrust to transport our kids. Instead of providing a decent supplement and pay to our drivers, we spend thousands to make sure their time is calculated to the minute. How ridiculous! Additionally, does this system make sense considering the buses are extremely overcrowded and above normal capacity? Does it make sense when teachers and parent facilitators continuously solicit parents for needed supplies at the school? Does it make sense when teachers have to spend some of their salaries to buy supplies and teaching materials for their classes? There are some serious issues with BCS.

GPS on buses

Ok lets all get real for a second... yeah their sales pitch is it will increase the safety of our students but when that child steps off the bus those GPS's dont help anymore. However "better treatment of the drivers" ARE YOU KIDDING ME"?? a family member and I sat on the porch many days while her daughter got off the school bus. EVERY single day that bus driver was talking on her cell phone. The cell phones places on those buses were meant for emergency cases only. Now if this bus driver had an emergency every day then she does'nt need to be driving a bus. I dont see the purpose of this GPS thing yeah sure it keeps track of students. But how is some tracking device going to keep a child from getting hit by a car when they are walking to and from the bus. GIVE ME A BREAK.

RE: GPS on bus

You are speaking about one driver out of many. I know many of the bus drivers and they are dedicated to their jobs. None of them would jeopardize their jobs or the safety of the kids to talk on the cell phone while driving. I, for one, cannot understand how they deal with the current frustrations of overcrowded buses and substandard pay while the school board continuously waste money on systems designed to do no more than identify the location of the bus. Additionally, Just as you expect an increase of pay on your job after years of service, so do these drivers.

You should report this

You should report this driver. It is my understanding that it is illegal in NC for school bus drivers to use cell phones while driving.

Yet another wonderful idea

Yet another wonderful idea from Brunswick county schools! They have these students riding the buses for hours at a time double loaded due to gas prices some having to walk to their bus stop in the wee hours of the morning way before you or I ever think about turning the alarm clock off but they reserve the funds for some bogus system? Whats wrong with the bus driver getting a list of the students and marking them on and off? How about letting the parents worry about their kids skipping school? I think it would have been wiser to put the money towards the fuel to even out the bus loads instead of installing some useless system to track the kids who ride the bus. Things sure are bass ackwards round d'em neck of da woulds.........

I realize that

I realize that money is a issue in the schools BUT, I ask, how many of you parents make sure your child get onto the bus? HOw many of your older kids skip school? I also ask, how many of you are willing to donalte money to supply all the kids with cell phones? I for one can not afford to give my child a cell phone, I'm not as fancy as you. I would like to see the money spent on protecting the school itself better first, I did try at one time to inform everyone how I walked into Union and was never asked any question but that went by the wayside. I suppose if this is one more thing to protect my child then I will not disagree. It's not a bad thing, just may not be the priorty at this time.




While I do like this idea, I think this money could have been better spent esp. with current cost of fuel etc. I hope this is something that had been budgeted for and well thought out and not just some idea someone thought up at the last minute. Otherwise, lets carry this project out right, and make it work to our advantage.

Brunswick County Busses

It is SOOO amazing that the Brunswick County School System has that much money for GPS' when they told my son he could not ride the bus this year because the bus that transports the children in our area is filled to capacity. It was pointed out that since my son was transported by car everyday last year I could just continue to drive him to and from school every day. This is putting a heavy financial burden on me. My family is one of the original families to settle Brunswick County. We have lived here since before the Civil War and paid taxes all those years. I guess it's more important to track those deemed 'worthy' of riding the bus than to provide EQUAL services for ALL students!!

How far out in the woods do

How far out in the woods do these buses go that one would have an accident and no one know about it? The drivers have cell phones. Most of the students are carrying their phones. And how long is it going to be before these kids start losing these tracking cards? Who will be paying to replace them? All we hear is the about is how underfunded the education system in this state is. While we don't live in Brunswick County, my daughter just came out of a middle school that is in such disrepair it should have been torn down years ago. I'm sure in Brunswick County, this money could have been better spent. It is the school officials responsibility to get the children on the bus, and it is the bus driver's responsibility to get the children to their homes. If this is a job they no longer want to do, then replace them with employees that will.

Brunswick County and its

Brunswick County and its school teachers have been complaining forever about not enough money. They even revamped their bus routes to save fuel. I thought the cost of Diesel was putting them in a pinch. NOW, they are going to waste a quarter million tax dollars on a useless GPS system for busses. How many busses or kids have come up missing in the past?? Guess the school officials are hooked up with some high tech company that needs to unload some electronics. Your tax dollars at work, folks!