MORGANTOWN - The state Supreme Court has refused to allow a school bus security tape, showing an exchange between and special needs student and his aide, to be released to the public.

On Feb. 28 the court voted 3-2 to refuse to hear the appeal filed by The Dominion Post, who requested to see that tape in January of 2006.

The newspaper filed the appeal to the Supreme Court after Monongalia Chief Circuit Judge Russell Clawges Jr. ruled that imaged captured on a school bus video camera are part of a student's record and protected information not subject to public release.

The tape allegedly shows aide Karen Jenkins screaming at a fifth grade student, who has severe cognitive, mental and physical disabilities, as well as pushing him when he refused to get off the bus.

Monongalia Superintendent Frank Devono told The Dominion Post the school board would abide by the Supreme Court's decision.

"It's the school system's responsibility to protect our students' confidentiality as much as possible," he told the paper. "We take the job of confidentiality seriously. It's very important to us to protect our students' records."

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