Leon County parents share concerns over bus route failures

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 14, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Leon County School District parents were very upset at the district for the failure of the new bus routes during the first week of school.

Despite school board meetings and press conferences from the district, Gilchrist Elementary School parents were still frustrated Wednesday because of all the confusion surrounding the bus routes.

Pick up lines at Gilchrist Elementary were longer because parents were following superintendent Rocky Hanna's advice: drive your kids to school until the bus routes are fixed.

"You know it scared the what out of me, because I don't want my kid sitting on a bus for hours after school when they are hungry and tired and want to be home," Nicole Walker said.

Many parents expressed their outrage and demanded action at Tuesday night's school board meeting. Hanna responded, cancelling the bus contract with Edulog and removing director of transportation Manny Joanos. Additionally, bus drivers will follow last year's routes starting on Monday.

On the first day of school, some parents didn't see their children until 5:30 p.m.

"It got to the point that the bus was running so late from school that kids were calling panicking saying I think you need to come get us," Monford parent Jen Bryant said.

Some parents said they're happy the district is going back to the old routes.

"Yes, I think that's easier anybody driving the same route, it's a lot easier to do it twice a day than once a day," Chad Wright said.

"Those bus drivers work hard to build a rapport with the students," Bryant said. "They grow to get to know them and their personalities and all the way around it just makes more sense."

Meanwhile, other parents said more changes need to be made to remedy the problem.

"I understand we had it before, so going with what has semi-worked is better than what hasn't worked at all, but I mean it still needs to be fixed," Brandi Perkins said.

Bryant said she's glad the district is taking action.

"I'll feel safe knowing that they are going to get picked up, they are going to get dropped off," Bryant said.

On the flip side, Walker said they're not convinced until they see consistency.

"If it does produce results, I will consider putting my kids back on the bus," Walker said.

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