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Local students speak about Old Capitol Mall bus stop

BY ALISON SULLIVAN | JANUARY 30, 2012 7:20 AM

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Many local high-school and junior-high students stop at the Old Capitol Town Center's bus stop to transfer buses to get to school in the morning and to get home in the afternoon. City officials say they've seen an influx in fighting at the bus stop, prompting them to increase police presence. The Daily Iowan talked to some of the students about the increased patrolling.

Tateanna Adams

16

City High

"I read the news, and they're talking about finding different routes for us to take, and they want to bump up the bus fare to $1. Raising the bus fare — there's no point to it, but it will make kids even more mad. It's hard enough for us to get to school and back. Sometimes, it's really hard for [my siblings and me] to find a way [home], but one of my guidance counselors finds us bus passes to get to and from school.

Fights down here just started happening, like when the big riot happened during December. It just happens every once in a while. We really don't fight a lot. It's been a lot better [since an increase in police officers], but sometimes the police, they do too much. We can be sitting down, it'll be a group of kids who — of course they'll be loud and stuff, but then the police will try to kick everybody out, or they'll blame the kids who are sitting there being quiet and tell them you just got to go … It's wishy-washy, sometimes."

Xavier Wright

16

City High

"There are people making noise [on the bus], and the bus driver can't deal with it. It's like two or three [police officers] on the Court Hill bus every time I get off to go to school. They just sit there and are around as we get on the bus. They tell us to be quiet and like, as we — whoever is lining up — make noise, and they tell them to be quiet or they have to get off the bus."

Jene Adams

18

City High

"They say we are too loud and that people are using bad language. [Police presence] is good because they can kick them off the bus … but some people sometimes are in people's face and think they are talking loud, but they're just talking like regular. They're talking loud, but they're just using their regular voice. But there are a lot of people on the bus, so it seems like they're talking loud."

Andrea Gathings

16

West High

"I witness the fights down here. It's usually kids who don't get along, I guess. [The fights are] not really serious … just something that can be squashed, not brought out in public. It's just a fight; it's not to the point where somebody could get injured. It don't get to that point from what I've seen … I feel like I'm always being watched because of what other people do that I don't do. What everybody else do, it affects — its going to be sterotyped like, 'All the teens do this. If these teens [fight], they're all going to do it, too.' That's why [police are] down here every week or every day … because people are so loud."

Chuck Riley

16

City High

"I think [the news is] just sterotyping us because most of the people who ride the bus are black. So, it's just a sterotyping thing because we come down here in a cluster of people, so they just think like, something will always happen when we're here in a unit — blacks. I feel [police] don't treat [white people] like they treat us. Because we're black, they think we're always the loudest, always stealing and stuff. But white people steal, we steal — it's the same situation, they just give us a harder time than they give them."


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