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sarahplacz1 Feb 7, 6:47 p.m.
@Rachel....No one said they want to crush the driver. She does NOT want the driver fired. She wants the system to be fixed so this does not happen. She understands that the bus driver was in a less than ideal situation, but that does not change the fact that the driver did not follow protocol.
Further more, NO elementary aged child should have the responsibility of telling a bus driver how to get somewhere. The ignorance and lack of compassion for all involved (including the bus driver, who I'm sure feels terrible), that I have seen here makes me truly sad. I am disgusted that my friend, who just experienced one of the most terrifying hours of her life, has to read so many ignorant comments.
BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Feb 7, 4:57 p.m.
no books..no money..no neighborhood schools..
lots of buses...lots of expenses...lots of disgruntled parents..
BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Feb 7, 4:56 p.m.
Take your kids to school..
Wendellcatlover Feb 7, 4:38 p.m.
"@wendellcatllover did the driver get punished? Or just a warning or something" romneycare
To the best of my memory (it's been several years), the driver received a warning in her file, but my child didn't ride that bus again the rest of the school year.
Southern Girl Feb 7, 4:34 p.m.
Fireguy, about a year ago, I witnessed the very same thing. I got the bus number and tried and tried to report it, but no call back from anyone, although I was told someone would call. This happened at the corner of Falls of the Neuse and Lynn Road, which is a very busy intersection. Wonder why they don't care enough to call back. It should not be this way.
healls Feb 7, 4:24 p.m.
Maybe if kids went to schools in their own neighborhood, where they could either walk, or easily be dropped off by a parent, we wouldn't need any more buses. I had a school literally across the street from my old neighborhood, but my kids couldn't go there, because they were "too full" from busing in kids from other areas. What is wrong with this picture??
The WCPSS transportation system is a joke! They NEVER answer the phone. You can leave a voicemail, but what good does that do when your child or their bus doesn't show up when they're supposed to and you need to find out what's going on? It's ridiculous.
Southern Girl Feb 7, 3:26 p.m.
Rachel, leaving a child on a bus is much, much more than a small error, and it should not happen or be tolerated. Those drivers should be fired, no pay, immediately, in my opinion. Parents put their children on those buses and expect them to be safe.
IMPEACHOBAMA!!! Feb 7, 3:19 p.m.
I drove a bus for Wake Co. and we were given training to avoid this. If the bus drivers do their jobs properly this will not happen. They get in a hurry, don't do a bus check after every trip, which is what we were trained to do. There is NO EXCUSE EVER to leave a child on a bus...NONE!!
fireguy Feb 7, 3:02 p.m.
I witnessed a bus driver from broughton High School (I know because a secretary told me) Driving a bus full of kids down the road texting on her phone and swerving in the lane. As we came to a stop light i took a picture of her as she was still in her phone. This happened at 9am and i called that entire day and the next day trying to speak with someone in management to handle this problem. I was promised calls back from 7 different people including the superintendent and did not get a call from anyone. Every secretary i talked to was aware of why i was calling and how serious it was. My kids ride wake county school buses and this is unacceptable.
Sweetgrl3 Feb 7, 2:59 p.m.
Plus have you seen how these private company vehicles the WCPSS uses drives? I have had Associated Transportation, Reese Transportation, Drew Transportation to cut me off, fly past me in a school zone, switching lanes constantly, riding bumpers of other drivers. My kids will NEVER ride in their vehicles. This happens daily on New Bern Avenue all the way through downtown Raleigh. Who is monitoring them?
happymom Feb 7, 2:57 p.m.
I am amazed at the number of people on here who do not have special needs children, have never dealt with WCPSS in regards to handling their special needs child, nor have been in close contact with a special needs child and/or that child's parents...
But can certainly tell the parents of special needs children exactly how they should behave, what they have a right to expect from the school system, and how unfair it is that the rest of society has to deal with these kids and their parents.
BTW, I'm the mother of a child on the spectrum. You can bet your last dollar that I'd be first in line to bring a civil rights suit if my child were short-changed by the school system just because someone didn't want to deal with him. BY FEDERAL LAW, our kids are entitled to the same services and have the same rights as every other child in the system. If you don't like it... tough. Try walking in my shoes (or better yet- my child's) for just one day.
n4cer Feb 7, 2:29 p.m.
IF THEY DID NOT KNOW THE ROUTES, WHY WHERE THEY IN THE BUS DRIVERS SEAT IN THE FIRST PLACE. WHAT KIND OF PRINCIPAL OR ASSISTANCE WOULD ALLOW THIS charmcclainlovesdogs2
The issue is if they are short staffed and one calls out sick you can not expect everyone to know every route to fill in for that one out sick. On another note if they fire all the ones making mistakes (its called being human) who is going to drive the routes because most people would not deal with everything a bus driver deals with for the low pay that they get. I will admit it was bad that the child was overlooked and the check at the end failed.
charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 7, 1:33 p.m.
Why couldn't a parent volunteer to be a bus monito
DON'T NEED A PARENT TO MONITOR, THE BUS DRIVER SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH ON ALL ACCOUNTS. IF NOT THEY SHOULD ABSOLUTELY BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!
That Explains It Feb 7, 1:23 p.m.
charmmclainlovesdogs2, the drivers can not be fired. They are a protected minority and would readily sue the school district. Sorry to disappoint. It was a good idea though.
TarheelWilly Feb 7, 1:14 p.m.
Sorry Nancy. But:
Fact#1 -Mr. Tata was the Wake County School Superintendent
Fact #2 -The superintendent is the "CEO" of our school system
Fact#3-Mr. Tata stood before the cameras and the public and assumed responsibility of the "bus fiasco" that began our school year (the correct and admirable thing for a "CEO" to do)
Fact#4-Mr. Tata's plan to "regroup" from the failures of our school system, under his watch, to recognize the importance of a solid transportation plan BEFORE the school year began was the beginning of the end of his tenure, fair or not.
Fact#5-CEO's of small companies who lose their jobs due to perceived poor performance, RARELY get promoted to equally important post with much larger organizations.
Yup....Facts is (sp) Facts.
rachel Feb 7, 1:04 p.m.
You know, I'm sorry used to be a decent, acceptable way to express remorse- now its seems, parents want an opportunity to demolish someone for every error that happens- no harm was done-their need to make " the news" only resulted in the driver getting punished, not a big fix of the system
charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 7, 1:03 p.m.
she was a substitute unfamiliar with the route and was relying on the children to help her.
EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES....ANYTHING ELSE THEY CAN COME UP WITH. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRED. IF THEY DID NOT KNOW THE ROUTES, WHY WHERE THEY IN THE BUS DRIVERS SEAT IN THE FIRST PLACE. WHAT KIND OF PRINCIPAL OR ASSISTANCE WOULD ALLOW THIS? YOU HIRED THEM AND SHOULD HAVE INFORM THEM OF THE ROUTES ALONG WITH RULES AND REGULATIONS. EVEN BEING AWARE OF A CHILD WITH HEALTH ISSUE. NO MORE EXCUSES!
charmcclainlovesdogs2 Feb 7, 1:00 p.m.
received reports about two children with special needs being left on their buses after the drivers finished their routes.
A senseless act on the bus driver. It just takes a moment to check their bus to make sure all students are off. They should have lost their job, because they were not being responsible to these children.
driverkid3 Feb 7, 12:43 p.m.
Why couldn't a parent volunteer to be a bus monito for one day a week, make themselves familiar with the route and help the driver as far as stops go? Or would that be taking way too much responsibility for these parents?
millercochran Feb 7, 12:41 p.m.
Dear "If I had an Austin child," (I think you mean autistic)...it's a little hard to do that when the bus does not ever stop at your bus stop. And nobody ever calls to tell you where your child is. And nobody at the missing child hotline answers the phone. Think about the logic of what you're posting before you post it.
Feb 7, 12:27 p.m.
If I had an Austin child and I was waiting at the stop for them, which I think you should, and they didn't get off the bus don't you think you would say hey my child is on your bus can you look for him instead of letting it go on?
BANMD Feb 7, 12:14 p.m.
"are held accountable" and "face serious consequences." Really. Tell me what happens to them. A slap on the wrist? "PAID LEAVE"?
They should be FIRED !! Then put in jail for 30 days for endangering the kids.
driverkid3 Feb 7, 11:53 a.m.
Nancy:::Not enough drivers?
No, it's the dems that have taken over the Wake County School system and rule the roost now.
Minarchist Feb 7, 11:27 a.m.
nex we should just let everyone homeschool their kids and simply get rid of the public school system entirely... you go GOP!
Educating YOUR children. What a concept. Yes Id give you a tax credit for that.
KermitDFrog Feb 7, 11:16 a.m.
Substitute bus drivers get the routes delivered to them on print-outs (what is this, y2k?). With the availability of cheap GPS units and mapping software, every bus should have a GPS. All routes could be programmed in and special notes could be made for waypoints or stops.
C'mon folks - use technology to improve the situation.
djofraleigh Feb 7, 11:05 a.m.
The number on the back of every bus is 856 8050 and is manned until 6pm. The parents probably called the schools transportation # and found the supervisor covering a route, which is common, as is getting a message machine which is often full already. They did right by calling the police. Calling the school is good, too, for they can reach trans by special cell phones.
856 7890 is the trans number listed on WCPSS.NET.
I've actually had to call the police after other numbers failed for a 7 year old forgotten in the back. All cases don't make it to the WRAL pages. This year, trans is a hotter topic.
The Contractor Feb 7, 10:57 a.m.
Thank you GOP, I'm sure cutting money for essential services is a great idea... thank you so much for getting rid of all that nasty oversight people and letting the true market prevail... nex we should just let everyone homeschool their kids and simply get rid of the public school system entirely... you go GOP!
ssgncng2 Feb 7, 10:52 a.m.
No, that is incorrect. Tata didn't "design" the plan to put special needs kids on buses with mainstream kids. Tata had nothing to do with the issue at hand. It is your BoE and the bureaucrats that run the Transportation department in the WCPSS that did this. Don Haydon bears considerable blame for the status quo.
The behavior of these bus drivers goes well beyond this one instance. Police officers are generally reluctant to write traffic citations against other government employees, especially one's driving a government vehicle. It's too bad they operate like that.
Those stats would tell us quite a bit about the caliber of the persons hired by the WCPSS.
Nancy Feb 7, 10:50 a.m.
"The person that led the design of the current Wake County School System transportation system, is now the head of entire state transportation system." - tarheelwally
You're wrong. The 'transportation director' designs the routes, not the superintendent. But carry on with your misinformation if you must, anything you can to take cheap shots is all that matters to some. Facts are immaterial.
TarheelWilly Feb 7, 10:41 a.m.
Well, get ready folks. The person that led the design of the current Wake County School System transportation system, is now the head of entire state transportation system.
By the way, according to the school system spokesman, "Those who don't follow the policy are held accountable" and "face serious consequences." Who's held accountable when the policies are failures? One call, supervisor doesn't answer, and that's it?!? For a child?!?
mchljam2 Feb 7, 10:41 a.m.
Speaking as a parent of a special needs student, and a former bus driver, I feel ALL need to STOP being so darned judgemental and unforgiving. If these drivers failed to follow procedure and termination is the consequence then so be it. For all others who feel the need to spout off with no previous experience, please try to be kind in your comments. As for the unforgiving parents, remember you have and will make mistakes, you would like to be forgiven as well.
kimisufu Feb 7, 10:39 a.m.
But the other child left on the bus is not a special needs child. When it comes to safety on school-provided transportation, one child isn't more special than another, whether there's 40 kids on the bus or 4.
jlh4jdj Feb 7, 10:32 a.m.
I will just share with parents. Keep wanting kids bused all over the place, keep leaning on schools (who just lean on lower staff members, bus drivers), keep wanting more for less, keep not helping and destroying community systems I'm sure things will improve for you! If a bus driver writes up three students for not behaving they will get yelled at by a parent of at least one and maybe an administrator (scared and covering themselves). This is why quality is leaving the school system in masses. What is left is warm bodies!
ncpilot2 Feb 7, 10:31 a.m.
This story is disturbing on so many counts. Most importantly is the fact that how a system operates their bus operation is a reflection on how the entire system works.
The consistent reports of a malfunctioning bus operation in Wake County is indicative that the entire school system is poorly operated. Why is there a constant beating of "education is the answer" when there is consistent proof that our education system is so flawed? Why do we trust people this inept with our children's education?
superman Feb 7, 10:22 a.m.
It would be helpful if the parents who have children with special needs would take turns riding the bus and making sure all the children get the proper attention and care. How about transporting your own child to and from school. Very difficult to treat students special when you have 25-30 students on a bus.
superman Feb 7, 10:19 a.m.
Parents who have children with special needs should be more understanding and realize that their child is different. If you dont like the people driving a bus--perhaps you should get a job and try it. The pay is wonderful. Drive a bus for 6 months and you can retire on your earnings.
OpinionatedMama Feb 7, 10:18 a.m.
@scubagirl: There IS a # you can call. Of course, closed after 5pm. I've called numerous times to report a specific bus turning left on a red light, talking on a cell phone while driving & stopping every single day in the same spot under a bridge with kids on the bus. CALL AWAY!
OpinionatedMama Feb 7, 10:17 a.m.
GOOD! They should be out of a job. I mean, seriously, you have ONE JOB...to pick kids up & transport them home safely. Heck, you have special needs kids on your bus. And you can't do that?! OFF WITH YOUR JOB!
southerntalent Feb 7, 10:03 a.m.
Sit outside the bus garage on rock quarry rd and watch the drivers pull in and out,a large % of the bus drivers have no business transporting anyones kids let alone driving and being responsible.
kimisufu Feb 7, 9:56 a.m.
I still think the "special needs" thing is clouding the issue here.
There are busses. Whether you choose to put your child on them is totally up to you. Fine. So say you do put them on the bus. The bus driver is supposed to drive around, pick up kids and drop them off. Then they are supposed to make sure there's no one still on the bus when they park it.
Why is this so difficult? What exactly are bus drivers supposed to do, if not that?
Scubagirl Feb 7, 9:33 a.m.
There should be a number drivers can call where a HUMAN ANSWERS!!! ALWAYS!!! Not I'll get back to you, not I'll check voice mail...ANSWERS
maxcadman Feb 7, 9:33 a.m.
one of the problem with wake co. they make special needs students ride a school bus with the mainstream kids instead of like some other counties having handicapp buses for special needs! makes no sense!
ssgncng2 Feb 7, 9:30 a.m.
How do you propose teaching a 6 child who is non-verbal and has a moderate to severe cognitive impairment a phone number and address? I sincerely want to hear this. Rather than make ignorant assertions, please, teach all of us parents of special needs kids how we can connect with and normalize these children.
I don't know of ANY parents who want their special needs kids on a school bus. There is transportation for them on SUV where there are only other special needs kids but the school system fights like hades to keep these kids off those SUVs.
If you think it is so outrageous that Special Needs kids get transportation, fine, get the BoE to cancel it. I have an attorney that'll beat the BoE like a drum. What they do for mainstream kids they'll provide for special needs kids with reasonable accommodations. The judge decides what is reasonable, you don't. Let's play "Raise Everyone's Property Taxes" Bill, demand the BoE short the special needs kids. It'll be fun.
As if .... Feb 7, 9:28 a.m.
As an ex bus driver for the communication challenged school system, i can tell you that most of the fault lies with the bus driver and their team leads that are constantly on the road filling in for drivers that don't show up for their shifts.
I had many events that required calling in because of parents not being at bus stops, kids not getting off at the right stop etc. Most of the time there was no one in the office to answer the phone , because they were on the road dealing with their own problems.FIX the way the drivers can call someone in case of a problem!!! By the way ,some of these drivers should never be working as drivers! They don't get up off their seats in between routes to check the condition of the bus ,let alone know if there is a kid sleeping or not.
FIRE a few more ,and do spot checks on the routes to see what they are really doing.
maxcadman Feb 7, 9:27 a.m.
give em the boot! they didnt do a very important part of the job if not the most important. give them walking papers, because no excuse or reason is a good enough answer. im sure they make it a priority to check the bank account on payday!
aetius476 Feb 7, 9:23 a.m.
I guess I grew up in a bygone era.
I walked to my neighborhood schools everyday from K-12. Never rode a school bus. Knew all the neightbors long the way, felt comfortable going up to any door if I needed help. Wlaked home for lunch most days. My parents were never concerned.
That said, these drivers are human, and keeping track of every child must be a tough job....
xylem01 Feb 7, 9:20 a.m.
One day these school systems are going to wake up and nobody, not even illegals, will want to drive their buses.
Why didn't these parent's take their child to school instead of putting the responsbility on the bus driver to coddle their child on and off the bus?
bill0 Feb 7, 9:15 a.m.
"Relying on the kids to help her with the stops is just crazy. It's not THEIR job. A printed route should have been in her hand. Stop at each one."
It doesn't say the driver missed a stop. The kids appear to just not have gotten off when they were supposed to. One was asleep.
The drivers clearly were in the wrong though. You need to clear the bus at the end of the route. The driver started the next route without doing that and further delayed the kid getting home.
Really though, parents..... If your kid has "special needs" to the point where they can't get off the bus without the driver prompting them, then you should be making other arrangements to get them to school. And while you are at it, make your kids learn your phone number and address so they can communicate that to an adult trying to get them back to you.
coolkidmom Feb 7, 9:15 a.m.
medicinewoman2....I completely agree!
kimisufu Feb 7, 9:14 a.m.
I am very thankful to not have had any problems with school provided transportation. While I know it is ultimately my responsibility to make sure my kids get to school and back, I am putting them in the care of people I trust to do just that. Until I have reason to otherwise, of course.
Published: 2008-01-11 14:37:00
Updated: 2010-06-21 13:53:03