Parents air concerns over Chesterfield school bus delays

WWBT NBC12 - Chesterfield parents air bus concerns

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A full house turned out for Chesterfield’s school board meeting Wednesday night as parents expressed concerns about the ongoing issues with late buses that has plagued the start of the school year.

Despite apologies, they say the issue has not been fixed and many demanded better transportation for their children.

“I spent over two and a half hours each morning getting three kids to three different schools and waiting for bus stops," Shannon Hayes said. “One of them has Down syndrome at Manchester.”

Hayes was far from alone. Christine Butts blamed the issue on a lack of planning.

"Your implement it now, figure it out later approach was a huge failure,” Butts said.

One by one, parents approached the microphone to air their thoughts.

"I went to Chesterfield Schools. I haven’t seen dysfunction like this even in the 13 years that I was in the county,” another person said during public comments. “It is crazy it took several days to even get a letter back from the board saying ‘we messed up. We’re sorry. We’re working on it.”

Parents addressed the Chesterfield School Board over issues regarding late buses.
Parents addressed the Chesterfield School Board over issues regarding late buses. (Source: Tynes, Brian)

The problem started on the first day of school and got so bad, it forced school leaders to issue an apology for the problems, some of which were anticipated. But others were not.

In the letter, the district promised more bus drivers this week to help make things better.

“This has continued as of this morning,” Hayes said. “Kids have been standing out there for an hour.”

Many of their concerns also stem from new school start times implemented this year. Parents believe it’s one of the factors contributing to the transportation problems.

"Never in all of the discussions you had about school start times was a trade0off ever mentioned,” Butts said.

Board Chair John Erbach said school leaders spent hours Wednesday working out the kinks.

“We are aware of the situation. We have the same high standards the community has,” Erbach said. “We and our staff are going to continue to work on this situation. We’re not going to stop until things meet our standards.”

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