What Has BusRadio Been Saying To Your District’s Employees?

March 6, 2009
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There is a simple step parents and other taxpayers can take to find out how BusRadio slipped onto your child’s school bus and how BusRadio manages to stay on your child’s bus.

Ask your district’s superintendent for a copy of all correspondence (letters, faxes, emails) between any district employee and BusRadio. Ask for a copy of the contract between the school district and BusRadio. Ask for the minutes of the board meeting that approved the contract with BusRadio. (You want to see the names of the Board Members who voted for the contract. Don’t be surprised if BusRadio came into your district without Board approval. That has happened.)

Any correspondence with a school vendor like BusRadio is public information. When a transportation director starts receiving complaints and he or she sends BusRadio an email asking for help in defending the company, that email is a public record that can be read by taxpayers.

You don’t need to know anything about your state’s Freedom of Information Act to take this step. Hopefully, your superintendent will realize how controversial BusRadio is and will want to get all documents out concerning the district’s connection with BusRadio. Maybe, when you make your request, the superintendent will realize that forcing children to listen to BusRadio’s advertising and music is not worth it.

If your superintendent refuses your request, then you need to explore your rights under your state’s Freedom of Information Act. States vary in their laws concerning the viewing of governmental records. We have listed some resources below for states where BusRadio has some presence.

You would be surprised to read what some BusRadio sales reps say to local pupil transportation directors and other school employees. I have seen emails where BusRadio suggests ways that school employees can increase the playing of BusRadio programming on buses. I have read BusRadio "compliance reports" which point out which school buses are playing BusRadio’s content (and for how many minutes each week!) and which buses are not playing their music and commercials for children. BusRadio’s compliance reports are totally creepy. BusRadio utilizes their technology to spy on bus drivers. They know when drivers have been "bad" or "good" and they aren’t shy in urging transportation directors to get wayward drivers in lock step with the more obedient drivers.

You’re the taxpayer. It’s your school. It’s your school bus. You pay the salaries of the transportation director and superintendent. It’s your child involved in this BusRadio Experiment.

 

Some state Freedom of Information resources:

Arizona

California 2

Colorado

Florida

Georgia

Massachusetts

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

Tennessee 2

Washington