Leaders with RCSS urge parents to update contact information

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Leaders with the Richmond County Board of Education are asking you to double check your contact information following a school bus accident Friday afternoon.

A school bus was involved in an accident with injuries on Windsor Spring and Tobacco roads. The bus was carrying seven special needs children.

LaTrice Jones had her cellphone with her all afternoon and said she never got a call. The school district said they tried to reach her.

"It just doesn't make any sense to me how you have that small amount of children on a bus and you can't get in contact with anyone, not even the backup contact," Jones said.

Jones waited for her child's school bus, unaware the bus was in an accident just up the road.

"Sometimes the buses are late and we know that because there is a shortage in bus drivers and trying to get the kids where they need to be, so I didn't think of anything alarming," Jones said.

Her fourth grade son Javis is in a wheelchair and when his bus finally showed up, she learned what happened.

"They got there and told me that they had actually had an accident," Jones said.

The school system says they tried to call her cellphone, but the number was disconnected. Richmond County School System's Public Information Director Louis Svehla says this issue is more common than you think.

"I would be willing to say that right now sitting here 25 percent of the numbers in our system are incorrect numbers," Svehla said.

People move, numbers change and contact information is not updated.

"Numbers have been disconnected, parents have had pay-as-you-go phones and they no longer have those phones anymore, cell numbers have changed," Svehla said. "It is hard for us to continue to get the most accurate information as far as contact information for our parents."

Jones is not sure how they had an incorrect number. She thought her info was current.

This is an important reminder to parents to make sure they update all numbers, especially cell phones, in case of an emergency.


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