By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 8, 2018
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) – Flu season is taking a toll on school systems across South Georgia, and it’s not only impacting the students.
Bus drivers are seeing the worst of this year’s flu epidemic. Valdosta, Lowndes County and Berrien County are all experiencing a similar problem with bus drivers calling in sick.
Valdosta City Schools says they were down ten drivers last week, and are missing four this week.
Both Valdosta and Berrien County Schools say the shortage is causing remaining drivers to double up their stops. They say it’s been causing time delays when picking up and dropping off kids.
The schools are asking parents to be patient. They’re also urging them to keep kids home from school if they’re running a fever.
One school says they’ve noticed some parents that will allow their kids to bring their illness to class.
"It kills you to know that parents aren't keeping their kids home when they're sick because it isn't just their kid that is affected,” says Missy Smith, a local parent. “It becomes all the kids in the school, the teachers, the bus drivers, and then the families of those kids that are coming home."
Some parents, like Smith, are being cautious by teaching their kids to stay away from germs and by getting flu shots. They say it’s all they can do while knowing their kid could be sharing the same bus as many others spreading the flu.
Schools say they’ve been making extra efforts to make sure the buses are wiped away of germs at the end of the day.