The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Baltimore:
Murder by Another Name

Mar 19, 2018

A report looking into a fatal bus crash puts responsibility squarely on the management of the Baltimore City Public schools. In November of 2016, the driver of the school bus and the driver of an MTA bus and four passengers were killed.

The report makes it clear this crash was no “accident” – it was the result of extreme negligence. The school bus driver had been involved in 12 crashes in the past five years, and he had serious medical problems. But the bus company hired him anyway. The bus company, a sub-contractor for city schools, itself had so many violations that the state of Maryland had suspended it from doing charter bus work.

Why did BCPS give this unsafe contract the work of transporting children? Didn’t they know? Well they should have. Schools management had an office to oversee contracting. But management never gave the office the funding it needed. So it had vacancies and high turnover, and it had outdated technology to record data. Management was not willing to fund a serious operation to transport school children.

Schools management objected to the report, claiming it had changed procedures after the crash. The report said something else: “Even after the tragic events in November 2016, no apparent changes were made to organizational structure or operating practices.”

And so another accident that could kill six more people is waiting to happen.