By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 13, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A contentious school board meeting was held Tuesday night as angry parents and Leon County Schools employees spoke out on the busing issues to start the school year.
At times, the conversation got heated; Superintendent Rocky Hanna says it was a good intention that went bad.
Members of the school board had tough questions for the company behind the fiasco, and parents were finally able to voice their concerns directly to the people responsible.
A senior manager for the Montana-based software company Edulog, who is responsible for setting up the bus routes, admitted that "human error" caused data to be deleted.
"What precautions did we take prior to that? Obviously, we didn't take enough because it happened," the manager said.
The manager went on to say the master plan was erased in early August, so a new route was created in haste, leaving local school children behind.
"I just gotta pray for Monday, hopefully they bring that stop back," said 10th grader Ariana Jones.
Parents want the issue fixed and Edulog out.
"I feel like the should just shut everything down, they work overtime over the weekends and make these changes," said Marlish Lightfoot. "It's just unacceptable."
"Basically, this company needs to go," added Dinorah Martinez-Diaz, a parent and teacher in the LCS system.
Martinez-Diaz says she wants to go back to the old way of doing things.
"At this point, I don't care about my job," she added. "My interest right now is my child and I'm thinking for every parent who could not be here, because I am livid."
Superintendent Hanna met with transportation officials after the school board meeting and says an announcement on moving forward will happen during a news conference on Wednesday morning at noon.
The Edulog spokesperson did not wait to hear the public comments on the matter and declined an interview with WCTV.
The spokesperson referred us to his COO, Sam Bull, who sent a statement to WCTV earlier on Tuesday.
A play-by-play of Tuesday night's meeting can be seen below.
Chair of school board is reminding room of ‘why’ they went to @EDULOG_US. Technology is supposed to be able to track students. i.e. A mother can call school admins and see if son got on the bus. Admin can see what time they boarded and relay to parent.— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
Superintendent Rocky Hanna says he “cannot endure this much longer”. Says master plan was lost Aug. 5th, but people were notified of the change over a year before. “No one anticipated this.”— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
“Master schedule was unsuitable for public consumption.”- Super. Rocky Hanna. Adds that new Master plan was made with “haste” after data was lost on Aug. 5. Considered pushing class back two days, but decided not to since bus issues only affects 1/3 of students. pic.twitter.com/AKHdcK0Wx9— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
“Right now, blames don’t matter.” “Change is coming swiftly. Next Monday will be nothing like this Monday.” He says he will make decision tomorrow morning about moving forward.— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
Public comment is now open. This mother says she is having trouble explaining how “livid” she is about “this unbelieveable burden” @LeonSchools has put on parents. She says parents seem to have done more research than district officials who put a “blind trust” in @EDULOG_US . pic.twitter.com/jjwPnwQ7l4— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
This man referenced our @WCTV story from more than a week ago where bus drivers “balked” at the new routes. Wants to know why they weren’t listened to and says blame is important. pic.twitter.com/4mcxr9lJIx— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
This mother of a special needs daughter says her bus did not show up this morning or after school. The school employee had to finally call her and tell her to come and pick her daughter up because they did not know what was going on or where the bus was. pic.twitter.com/BRWfCM0NUx— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
This woman has an autistic son. She says he cannot handle having a different bus or driver everyday. He needs consistency. She is pleading with officials to figure it out. pic.twitter.com/kTdOnD3Whi— Katie (Widner) Kaplan News (@KatieKaplanTV) August 13, 2019
Katie will have a full report on Eyewitness News at 11.