School Bus Driver Pulls Over For Hours, Parents Left In The Dark - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

School Bus Driver Pulls Over For Hours, Parents Left In The Dark

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro parents continue to search for answers after the school bus dropped off their children two hours late from school.

It usually takes between 15 to 20 minutes for Jessica Doss' daughter to arrive home from Alex Green Elementary.

"I watched six/seven buses come drop kids off yesterday right here," Doss said while pointing to where she normally picks up her 7 year old, "and they never showed up."

The bus has been late before but parents became increasingly concerned Thursday when Metro Schools couldn't give them any answers.

"As a parent when you call and they tell you they don't know where your child is, where the bus is, that they can't locate it," Doss said, "you don't know if there's a wreck (or) if something terrible has happened."

A new driver was filling in on the route that has yet to be staffed with someone permanent because of the driver shortage across the district.

"At some point early in the route she made a wrong turn and was unsure how to get back on the route," Metro Schools spokesman Joe Bass said. "At this point also she said the students became very unruly to the point where she didn't think it was safe to continue driving."

It's standard procedure to pull over for the safety of everyone on board

"She kept on screaming," seven year old Kyra Doss said about the bus driver. "She stopped the bus two times because people were getting too loud."

"What should have happened at this point is the driver should have radioed into dispatch and said hey how can I get back on my route and hey I've pulled over my bus and this is where I am," Bass explained about the district's protocol. "But that did not happen."

The driver also did not respond when dispatch tried contacting her on the radio and her cell phone. She told officials it was too loud on the bus and couldn't hear when she's being contacted. Bass says that was a mistake that the district spent Friday addressing.

 "No one could get in touch with the bus driver," another parent explained. "The dispatcher…no one knew where a bus full of kids were."

Two hours later the bus was located and the kids were fine.

"It's really unfortunate and we sincerely apologize to all of the parents who were worried last night," Bass said.

Parents say they can accept protocol, but what they don't understand is the lack of communication.

"I trust my child's life with Metro Schools for ‘x' amount of hours throughout the day," Doss said. "They should be able to tell me where my child is."

The bus driver is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Email: acline-thomas@newschannel5.com
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