DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County schools announced Tuesday that the district will reallocate $125,000 to improve security after vandals damaged nearly a dozen buses.
School officials say this is the second time the buses were targeted in a month.
Ten buses are now out of service after school officials say they were used as “bumper buses” in the lot.
DeKalb County schools is still trying to get a handle on the extent of damage and cost but school leaders say children are paying the price.
“We use these buses to pick up kids, and it's getting colder and colder, and it's not fair for these kids to stand outside and wait because somebody wants to have fun with a school bus. And that's not fair,” said bus driver Sherhonda Gunn.
Along with the 10 damaged buses, bus drivers think one was actually stolen.
School officials say vandals destroyed another eight buses three weeks ago.
The district says it wanted to improve security at the lot on Clifton Springs Road, but didn't have money. Monday night the school board approved the money to hire a 24-7 roaming security officer.
“We're also going to ensure that we have additional security cameras and sight lighting on site,” Chief Operating Officer Joshua Williams said.
The gate to the bus yard is left open to give access to those headed to the Georgia State baseball field next door, which now has a damaged fence.
The district plans to reinforce all of the fencing and add key pads to gates, so soon everyone will need a pass to get in.
Drivers say the improvements are definitely needed. In the meantime, they'll do what it takes to make sure kids who normally ride the now damaged buses don't wait in the cold too long.
“We double up or do whatever we have to get the kids to school,” bus driver James Roberts said.
The district plans to start implementing the new security measures immediately.