BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish School Superintendent Bernard Taylor responded on Wednesday to inquiries after a 9News story about school bus transfer violence. The story centered on the North Sherwood transfer station.
Hundreds of students transfer at the facility twice a day. On Tuesday we told Taylor about a couple of fights the week prior. One student had his jaw broken in two places. He said then that the violence there was not an on-going issue. But 9News obtained a copy of a memo from the school systems director of security Wayne Messina.
Messina back in March detailed a pattern of violence at the transfer station and offered suggestions to curtail some of it. Below is an excerpt from the memo.
FROM: WAYNE MESSINA EBR SCHOOL SYSTEM DIRECTOR OF SECURITY
DATE: FRIDAY MARCH 15TH, 2013
SUBJECT: TRANSFER POINT
"IN THE PAST WEEK, AT THE TRANSFER POINT, WE HAD TWO DEPUTIES INJUREED BECAUSE OF FIGHTING THAT IS TAKING PLACE….WE HAD A 19 YEAR OLD THAT INJURED AN OFFICER AND IN THE PROCESS OF RESISTING HE WAS INJURED."
Messina also suggested that School board supervisors be at the transfer point.
"…SEEING YOU WOULD BE A GREAT HELP IN CURTAILING SOME OF THE VIOLENCE THAT WE ARE SEEING OUT THERE."
That information was sent out last March in contrast to Taylor's Tuesday statement. We asked for a second interview on Wednesday and were sent this statement from Taylor.
As you know, we are investigating the incident at North Sherwood Forest
Avenue last week and working to identify the students involved to ensure
that the appropriate disciplinary action is taken.
As a more general matter, I want to reiterate that the school system works
with the Sheriff's Office to provide security teams at the transfer station
each and every day. We are also engaged in ongoing efforts to move students
as quickly as possible through the transfer station.
In fact, I instructed the Deputy Superintendent to conduct a site visit of
the transfer station last week, and we are already working to implement new
recommendations to further minimize wait times at the transfer station.
We take the concerns of our parents and the safety of our students very
seriously, and we are committed to doing everything we can to continually
improve the status of operations.
The bottom line is our schools are safe and most of our 42,000 students make
good choices about their personal conduct each and every day. We cannot
allow the poor decisions of a few to overshadow the rest.
In his statement, Taylor did not address the Messina email.