Local News

Some Hoke Parents Not Notified of Children's Bus Accident

Posted February 1, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— A Hoke County mother wants to know why her child's school never told her about a school bus accident involving her daughter.

Brandi Roland and more than 20 classmates were aboard a Hoke County school bus last week when their field trip came to a screeching halt.

"This woman ran the red light, and she bumped another car, and his car spun around," she said. Roland says the woman may have stepped on the gas, hitting the bus head-on.

The impact left a few scratches on the bus, and the students and driver had only minor injuries. But Roland's mother, Panda, wants to know why she heard about the accident from her daughter -- not the school. Panda says that she had to call the principal herself to find out what had happened.

"If I had not called her, I never would have gotten any more info than what my daughter told me," she said.

The Hoke County Board of Education says it called every parent to tell them about the accident, but that does not mean every parent was notified. Messages were not left on the answering machines, and parents were not called at work.

"The decision was made because everybody was fine," said Hoke Co. Schools Superintendent Mitch Tyler. "They really didn't think that they need to call parents at work to alarm them."

Tyler says an EMS crew responded to the accident and it determined the children were alright. He says that he did not want parents to panic. However, he now wishes the situation was handled differently.

"Hindsight is 20-20," Tyler said. "Our stance is we need to alarm our parents."

Hoke County Schools have now changed their procedure. From now on, the school board will call parents at both home and at work. If they cannot be reached, teachers will send notes home with students, telling parents what happened.