ONLY ON 7: Hancock County Parents Say Children Being Forced to Sit Three to a Seat, in Aisles on School Buses
Parents in one local county say they have a serious problem they want fixed before sending their kids off to school again.
In one district, middle school students are sharing the bus with high school students and parents believe it's anything but safe. Mothers of Oak Glen students are not only angry about their kids sharing a bus with students much older than them, but they're also worried about their safety now that children are forced to sit three to a seat and even stand in the aisles.
Michele Price, Chester Resident, said, "They just cant do that it, just doesn't seem feasible to have 10-year-olds with 18-year-olds." Price, Shannon Brooks and Brenda Evans all have children that go to Oak Glen. It was their first day of school on Wednesday, but it started off on a sour note. They say their kids came home with stories about how kids were sitting on the floor, standing in the aisle and sitting three or four to a seat.
Shannon Brooks said, "He was on the bus in the morning and there was 88 students on the bus and on the way home he got on the bus and there were no seats." Evans and Price both have special needs children, and they're worried that their child could be bullied by the older students sharing the bus. Evans said, "The high schoolers are taking advantage of the younger kids, scaring them, bullying them pushing them down."
Superintendent Sue Smith said the bus drivers have been trained due to the middle school and high school students riding together, and that there are seating arrangements for the students so that the high school students will be towards the back of the bus and the middle school students towards the front of the bus. "We are making adjustments to everything, we are just asking that our parents and students be patient with us until we can get it worked out and we will be getting it worked out."
Parents plan on taking their petition to the board of education meeting on Monday night.