Take Note: Under Cover; Bus Bust

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The stories are alarming: Superintendents murdered on the job in Michigan and Florida. School officials assaulted by students and others while they worked.

It only took a few such incidents involving its members to persuade the American Association of School Administrators to look forcover.

Late last fall, the Arlington, Va.-based organization began offering its 17,000 members an insurance policy that compensates them--or their families--if they fall victim to school violence.

"These are highly visible, highly public positions," Gary Marx, an A.A.S.A. official, said of the hazards of school leadership. "These people are serving on the front lines."

The new insurance policy sets aside $100,000 for administrators who are injured or killed while working.

It covers robbery, felonious assault, and other criminal acts.

"We need to offer this as a service to our members," Mr. Marx said.

"Then we just hope and pray these things don't happen to anyone."

When the Savannah, Ga., school district began installing video cameras on its school buses, it did so hoping to capture young hellions on tape as they engaged in such mischief as shouting or pulling hair.

Last month, however, one camera helped track down an adult accused of far more serious misdeeds.

Driver Veronica Young was on a break and had stopped at a convenience store when, unbeknownst to her, her previously empty bus picked up a passenger.

As she pulled away from the store, a man emerged from the rear of the bus.

And as the camera taped him, the man pulled out a gun and demanded to be driven around town.

The man later left the bus, but before he departed, he allegedly took $6 from Ms. Young.

District officials were more than happy to share the videotape from the bus with the authorities.

The police used it to identify and arrest Greg Davis, 28. Mr. Davis was charged with armed robbery and kidnapping in the bus incident.

After the videotape was broadcast by local television stations, two area women also came forward and accused Mr. Davis of rape.

--Joanna Richardson & Peter Schmidt

Vol. 14, Issue 29

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