August 9, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Richmond County School System is dealing with a lot of backlash to school bus route issues. Administrators say it may take a few more weeks to work things out. Many parents are upset that their children are picked up and dropped of late.
Jonathan Campbell, 5, is not a happy camper. It takes him three buses to get to and from school. He got lost on the way home for the second day in a row.
"We were expecting him to be home by 4:30, but he was nowhere to found," said mother Juvette Campbell.
She said she put an ID card on her son with his bus route so he would not get lost in route to his magnet school. Her idea was a failed one.
"I am so upset because I put my child's safety in their hands," she said.
Campbell is upset with the Richmond County Board of Education.
However, they say they are working on the issue.
"We are dealing with a lot right now with our new middle school transportation routes for our magnet school routes," said Public Information Officer Louis Svehla.
He said this year, bus drivers are driving shorter, more cost-effective routes.
However, they did not practice the new routes. He wants to ensure parents that they are effectively working out all the kinks.
"With transportation, we have looked at efficiency,safety, as well as ways we can save on the budget to help the tax payer," he said. "We are hoping that parents will bear with us in our transition to a more effective system of transportation."
But parents like Gloria Wright say saving a buck is one thing. The year after year of bus issues is another.
"Our kids got home around 6:15 and 6:45 yesterday and that not OK; it is unacceptable," she said.
Wright is not depending on the bus to bring her child home this year, she is starting a carpool.
"In 2011, there is no reason with the resources that we have that we cannot do a better job at routing these kids," she said.
Meanwhile, little Jonathan never did make it home on a bus. His mom said the driver asked him to get off at a school, where she went to pick him up.