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A high school student and a parent from Chicago, Ill., sat at a table with school officials in an intercom room.
“We can hear you, the school district,” the girl’s mother said.
“There’s a school bus that’s on its way.
You can’t tell if it’s coming from another city or not.”
The boy’s father and another man listened intently.
The boy, who was wearing a bright yellow shirt and shorts, was wearing an “I’m not going to tell you what to do” look.
The two parents sat next to him, as the school bus driver stood silently nearby, his hand on his arm.
The girl in the seat next to the boy, seated in the rear of the bus, looked up and smiled.
She sat there, too, smiling.
The bus driver and the two adults left.
The driver’s wife called the bus dispatcher, who called the school system.
“It’s been quiet for hours,” the dispatcher told the dispatcher.
The school system dispatched an officer, who told the operator that the school had a “mild” case of “a serious and imminent threat.”
The operator asked if the school would consider putting a school interlocutor on the bus.
“You can put them on the school interphone,” the operator replied.
The school system sent out another operator, who responded, “You know what?
We don’t need anyone on the interphone.”
The bus operator said, “I have a school phone, I’m not on the phone.”
The girl in front of the boy continued to smile.
Later, a school administrator said the dispatcher’s comments were inappropriate.
“I didn’t say anything wrong,” the administrator said.
An intercom operator at a Dallas school told a student that his mom had been in the bus and asked, “What’s your name?”
The boy asked.
“My name is Joey,” the intercom answered.
In a report filed with the Texas Board of Education, the operator wrote that the boy had called “a number of times” and that the interlocutors name had been “taken.”
“We would like to have a student in the interoffice for this particular incident to talk to us, as well as any other students who may be in the vicinity,” the report said.
The operator also noted that the bus operator had “told us he is in the middle of the trip.”
A school spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the operator had apologized to the girl in his seat, but did not elaborate.
School intercom operators were trained to handle the “most serious situations” and “avoid situations in which a minor may become frustrated,” the AP said.
But in the case of Joey, the dispatcher said, the boy did not appear to be upset.
“His mom was in the school when it was being taken and the kid is in there, but I think the boy doesn’t feel like he was being treated as if he’s a problem student,” the school official said.
In an email, the Dallas school system wrote, “The dispatcher has apologized for his comment.”
At least two school systems in Texas have switched to using mobile intercoms, but that has not been the norm.
The Dallas-Fort Worth school system has switched to a more traditional school interpreter, and several districts in Texas and Maryland have begun using them.
Schools in Texas, including those in Austin and San Antonio, have begun to use mobile interpreters as well.
In Washington, D.C., a school district has begun using a similar system, which is used for students who are not on campus and who are in “distress or crisis.”
It’s unclear what role the new mobile system will play in the district.
In Texas, the new system is only available to students who have been on the system for at least four hours.