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Wake County students face crowded buses

Posted August 22, 2008

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— Students at a year-round school in Wake County said they are dealing with overcrowded buses.

Madison White, 12, a student at West Lake Middle School, said the school bus she rides has been so full during the past month that she and two friends often sit on the floor.

Classmate Regan Hunley thought the bus situation was unsafe so she reported it to her school resource officer. The bus Regan was riding also carried students from the local elementary school.

“They (elementary students) normally sit four to a seat and then the middle schoolers are three to a seat,” Regan said.

Madison’s parents were concerned but said school officials told them the overcrowded bus situation would be addressed. With many traditional schools starting on Monday, Madison’s father, Glenn White, said he is worried there will be a lack of buses.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of buses there they can pick from,“ White said.

Late Friday, school officials said students in the Jamison Park subdivision, who used to ride on Madison’s bus, would be riding a different bus as of Monday.

Wake County school officials said the bus overcrowding issue has been on their radar for a while because the Apex area has seen amazing growth.

In recent weeks, Wake County school officials have been taking steps to improve bus safety after incidents in which two children were dropped off at wrong bus stops this summer.

“You want them to be secure and be in a safe seat no matter how short the ride is,” White said.


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  • WhatsInAName Aug 22, 2008

    Ummm...before everyone starts preaching about neighborhood schools (which I agree with)...the Jamison subdivision is less than 1/2 mile from West Lake Middle School. IT IS A NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL! Why are these kids on buses to begin with? When I grew up, if you lived less than a mile from the school, you walked or rode your bike. Perhaps we should stop thinking about abusing tax dollars for obesity programs for kids and save on busing at the same time?

  • lizard Aug 22, 2008

    Go back to neighborhood schools. Everybody likes them and there's no large fleet of buses to run/maintain.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 22, 2008

    When I road the bus, it was chock full. All the seats and the aisle was full with kids standing up. It was like that each and every day. Sometimes 3 thin kids could squeeze into seats met for two people. Odd as it might seem to the large crowd of American babies that pretend to be adults, nobody whined and moaned about it.

  • teacher-mom Aug 22, 2008

    There is a maximum capacity for school buses. If they exceed the maximum capacity, they are breaking the law and it is not safe. There are no safety belts. I do not know if they still have those metal bars on the back of the seats. I do not think they are safe. I also do not understand how they can drive children all over the country without safety belts or booster seats. If a parent does that he/she would probably be reported to social services. I do not know how much a ticket would cost. You do not know what those bus drivers are up to. Then there are the children....

  • grayboomerang Aug 22, 2008

    hdonthefarm....it is indeed a problem....the chances of an injury to a child go up when they are standing...what about a fire hazard? What if, godforbid, the kids had to exit the bus quickly and they are over the limit by 15 kids?

    There is a reason that the bus has a capacity limit posted on the front. Over that capacity and it is no longer safe.

    These kids are being bused all over the county....not safe at all.

    And no, I am not an overprotective parent...I don't even have a child and I see a major issue with having these kids overcrowding school buses.

    Last week people were telling the high school kids to pay their outrageous parking fees or stop driving.....the overcrowding problem is already out of control...could you imagine what would happen if you add hundreds more to the problem?

  • Scarecrow Cow Aug 22, 2008

    In middle school I had to sit/stand many times. I'm glad I was sitting down that one time we had a crash! WCPSS is going to do jack squat until a kid who had to stand gets flung out of a window in an accident.

  • hdonthefarm Aug 22, 2008

    Oh, the sacrifice of these poor young scholars! Most folks of my advanced age (48) will remember when you were expected to sit 3 to a seat and the aisle was full of kids standing from the emergency door at the back all the way up to the steps. Parents need to get a grip - this ain't all that.

  • colliedave Aug 22, 2008

    Again, another example of the ineptitude of the school board

  • momof2 Aug 22, 2008

    Unfortunately, this is nothing new. My son was a student at LRMS last year and it was normal for students to sit or stand in the aisle. This is not safe and should not even be permitted. Another argument for neighborhood schools.