Boston Public Schools is equipping its bus fleet with cameras to monitor student behavior, but is insisting the microphones will be “turned off.”

The Boston Globe reported in July:

Boston is equipping all of its 750 school buses with cameras and microphones, enabling school officials to more thoroughly investigate reports of bullying, other disciplinary issues, and even traffic accidents.

Each bus will be equipped with two cameras contained in a single unit mounted to the ceiling. One camera will point to the passenger area. The other will be directed at the windshield and will record what the driver sees on the road, providing potentially useful information in case of an accident.

Carl Allen, the School Department’s transportation director, said no single incident prompted the high-tech monitoring.

“Cameras will record activity on board buses but the recordings will only be stored for a short period,” the school district tells parents on its website. It doesn’t define a “short period.”

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