CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Multiple families in Chesapeake reached out to 10 On Your Side, saying it’s taking two hours for their kids to get home from school.
The concerned parents, who’s children attend Hugo Owens Middle School, also claimed the buses have been late in the morning and appeared to be overcrowded.
“It’s way past acceptable,” said Chesapeake parent Sara Edwards. “I watched my son Wednesday morning take over five minutes for them to get seated and situated.”
Edwards continued, “They let out at 3:35 p.m. and he doesn’t get home until about 5:30 p.m., 5:35 p.m.”
Another parent, Tiffany Mixon, says her daughter is fearful about riding the bus each day. “She’s confused, she doesn’t know what’s going on,” said Mixon. “She’s somewhat terrified when she gets off the bus, like is she going to make it home?”
Mixon and Edwards say the lack of answers from the school in regards to their bus concerns has been frustrating.
“It’s my responsibility to get my child ready for school. I have to make sure he has a backpack, I have to make sure he has the pens and the pencils and every supply that he needs to be successful in school,” said Edwards. “Why isn’t it up to the school system over the summer to be prepared, be prepared with buses, be prepared with bus drivers?”
Chesapeake school officials tell 10 On Your Side the route that goes through their neighborhood is a “vacant route.” That means another driver has to do their route, then go back to the school and get the kids on the vacant route.
This is the reason for the delay, but the parents say it’s just too much. “Two hours late for a middle schooler, that’s unacceptable,” said Mixon. “I just hope they get their stuff together.
The neighbors did tell 10 On Your Side that their students were dropped off on time Friday afternoon.
Chesapeake Public Schools is looking to hire 18 bus drivers. Anyone interested in working as a bus driver is encouraged to call (757) 547-0001 or visit their website to apply.
If parents have issues with school bus transportation, they are advised to call the school administrators at (757) 547-1617 and complete the online form to contact the Department of Transportation.