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Election roundup: Barros wants details on all sexual-assault investigations of Boston cops; Wu wants electric school buses

John Barros today called for disclosure of all BPD internal-affairs investigations of Boston cops over the past 30 years, and now, not after he's elected.

The fact that Patrick Rose stayed on the force for more than two decades after an internal affairs investigation found that he abused a 12-year-old child raises serious concerns that there is a systemic accountability problem in the Boston Police Department.

Today's Earth Day and Michelle Wu, who has called for a Boston-specific Green New Deal, called on BPS to replace its current fleet of 700 buses to electric models by 2030. She says school buses consume roughly 60% of all the diesel fuel used by Boston municipal vehicles.

Roughly 24,000 Boston students are transported to and from school on 3,100 bus trips every day, and about half of these buses still run on diesel fuel -- and pollution on those buses has been measured at 5-10X higher than in other nearby areas, causing outsize impacts on childrens’ learning, development and health. Not only do pollutants from diesel fuel cause asthma and other respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer - linked to higher mortality from COVID-19 - but there is also evidence to suggest the diesel directly impacts childrens’ English and math scores. Boston’s Black, Latinx and AAPI residents are disproportionately exposed to particulate matter pollution from cars, trucks, and buses.

JP Progressives, Mijente and Right to the City VOTE Boston are sponsoring an online forum for District 6 (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) candidates Kendra Hicks, Kelly Ransom and Mary Tamer at 7 p.m. on April 28. Free registration required.

The Scope interviews Trevour Smith, running for the District 4 (Dorchester, Mattapan, Roslindale) seat that Andrea Campbell is giving up.

In District 7 (Roxbury), Marisa Coleman Luse is collecting signatures to run for the seat Kim Janey is giving up.


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Million bucks says there are a lot more of them.

Voting closed 38

Teachers don't have the ability to suppress a police investigation like the, you know, police do.

Voting closed 23

Tell ya what champ, I know for a fact there are several Boston teachers fired, charged and put in jail (for sexually assaulting a child) after getting suspended for other inappropriate contacts with children before those assaults and there were school investigations, reports, DCF files and sometimes police reports on these incidents. These are school investigations on file with the school department. I know many of these cases are settled with families, but it is the EXACT same as what happened with Rose, sometimes worse in cases where the schools didn't even discipline the teacher after the initial allegations.

And I'm not trying to get into a beef with you, but I think the issue with cases like Rose and these teachers are that there are other cases where teachers or police are accused of things that they actually didn't do, or were suspended and then the victim recanted or something changed after the fact (where the accused became exonerated). Or simply nothing happens ever after the first allegation, and that is actually what happens most of the time. The City knows if they fire these employees, it costs everyone millions. I agree that they probably should have fired Rose, but it seems that even from these memos (there has to be more, I can't believe the union would wait two years to try to get him back on the job) that the City had legal council and they would be the ones deciding his fate based on labor law and Civil Service regulations.

And not that it matters, but the teachers are assaulting kids in the schools, making it a larger liability, where Rose was assaulting kids close to his family.

Voting closed 32

Why doesn't anyone ask a question of how come so many kids need to spend time on so many buses in the first place. Nothing good comes out of that wasted time.

Voting closed 42

Agreed. And it's not just diesel and time that's being wasted. In early 2020 (pre-pandemic), BPS budgeted an outstanding $125 million last year for transport with under 25,000 kids using school buses. Second highest cost in the country per student (Buffalo was first).

Most bus drivers drive their personal car to and from the bus yard twice a day in order to drive around a large, mostly empty bus around the city at an average 5 or 6 MPH for two to four hours at the time. In addition to the financial cost and diesel-induced pollution, school buses generate a tremendous amount of congestion in some areas. We also have a huge school bus storage yard in Dorchester (and in other parts of the city) that's not a good use of valuable city real estate.

Surely easier said than done, but time (including student's time) and money would be much better spent by providing high quality education wherever kids live. Given the steady decline decline of BPS enrollment (57k in 2014, 52k in 2021) we have no shortage of buildings to accommodate that.

I like Michelle Wu as a person but I would welcome a leading mayoral candidate with more efficient and electrifying ideas than school bus electrification.


Voting closed 25

Very well-thought out comment, but let me point out that you cannot get anywhere here with an argument that culminates with a link to the Herald.

Voting closed 15

Electric buses are better in terms of local pollution, but the environmental cost of all those batteries is nonzero (but of course paid out of sight out of mind). How about a new deal where kids are not shuttled around.

Voting closed 17

Good move by John Barros finally we might learn what happened at the Infamous Silver Shield club and the Boom Boom room. Good move by Michelle Wu to go green on buses. Next stop I hope one of the candidates can convince the MBTA to let the school buses drop the children off inside MBTA stations as they do in the suburbs instead of stopping in the middle of the street for safety reasons.

Voting closed 15