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Changes to busing policy at the Liberty Pole

Rochester, N.Y. In response to a fight at the Liberty Pole Monday afternoon, RTS officials and the Rochester City School District have come up with a plan to try and have fewer students in that area. 

On Monday, a large fight broke out at the Liberty Pole and someone fired a gun. While no one was hurt, the incident had many people questioning the safety of the school busing system. 

Students gather at the Liberty Pole each school day to transfer buses.

On Wednesday, Mayor Tom Richards released this statement:

... The current transportation arrangement is unacceptable and cannot continue... We cannot expect disturbances such as the one we saw on Monday to be corrected as long as hundreds of unsupervised RCSD students continue to be brought downtown at the same time. 

13WHAM News has learned that the new plan will reduce the number of students who must transfer downtown. More students will take express buses directly to their neighborhoods. It will also reduce the time students must wait downtown to transfer onto a new bus.  

Lastly, school resource officers will head downtown after the school day to help supervise students--to reduce the risk of trouble.

Some parents believe this system could work-- especially if it limits the number of students who will be downtown at the same time.

Trelawney McCoy says she tries to help her high school-aged children to avoid the Liberty Pole area.

Im really concerned about their safety, she said. I don't want anything to happen to them, so I'll take the extra time to get to work and drop them off at school.

She believes that if the students have less time to interact with each other, there wont be opportunities to fight.

[The new plan] is a much better system than having kids downtown, McCoy said. When you get them together where they can group together, they are going to fight. 

RCSD Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says the new plan is a temporary fix to the immediate problem at the Liberty Pole, however, he says the students behavior is what really needs to change. 

 
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