Local News

Bus policies under review after complaints

Posted August 4, 2008 4:45 p.m. EDT
Updated August 4, 2008 11:16 p.m. EDT

— Wake County schools have responded to recent complaints about bus service by taking another look at the policies drivers use to make sure students get where they are going.

The district is working on a new system to track younger students, to make sure they get on and off the bus at the right stop.

“We can have 99.9-percent accuracy and that is not good enough. We want to maintain – earn and maintain the trust of our parents,” said Don Haydon, the district's chief facilities and operations officer.

In a letter to Superintendent Del Burns, Haydon called for a revaluation of the school transportation system, including:

  • Policies and procedures to be reviewed.
  • Changes to be made where necessary.
  • Parents, educators and bus drivers to have input.

"We want to take a look at the processes to make sure everything is working as good as it can be,” Haydon said.

The revaluation aims to avoid a recurrence of complaints filed by two Wake Forest mothers. They say their elementary students were let off at the wrong bus stop, by mistake, last month.

"I was distraught that my child was lost,” Amanda Medlin said.

Medlin said the bus driver dropped off her 5-year-old son, Austin, four miles from home. It happened on his first day of kindergarten.

For nearly a half-hour, Medlin said her son wandered looking for help. He finally knocked on Nikki Lupton’s door.

“He walked right in and he said, ‘I live far, far away,”” Lupton recalled.

A similar thing happened a week later to Brady McGlohon. A 6-year-old, who attends the same Wake Forest elementary school as Austin.

Brady's bus driver has since retired from the school system. Austin's bus driver is still employed.

"I do not have trust in the school transportation system at all,” Medlin said.

Parents interested in voicing concerns over bus policies should contact the Wake County School Board.