Parents Are Concerned about Safety of Children on School Bus

SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va -- Brandi Dysart is one parent in the county who is worried about her kids' safety on the bus. She said her kids complain to her about the problem so she asked other parents about what their children were saying.

"They were telling me that the bus is crowded and they didn't have anywhere to sit and they were sitting in aisles and falling off the seats and they were telling me that children were standing. I got speaking with parents and they were telling me they were having the same issues and seeing the same things," said Dysart.

That was why Dysart decided to create a Facebook page for other parents to voice their concerns. In just one week, she said they have more than 300 members on the page.

Sherri Braithwaite is another parent who noticed the same problem. She said the bus hours changed this year, but she did not know why.

"No one ever stopped to explain to us that they were being driven on double route, on hour-long bus rides and that they would be packed three to four to a seat and they would be standing up. That is why I'm very upset as most parents are," said Braithwaite.

Some parents in Shenandoah County said they saw too many kids getting on to one bus, and they said on some buses kids are crammed four into one seat.

"A father of a 7-year-old says his daugther was told that they were supposed to sit on children's laps on the school bus. Another parent stated that children were sitting along the back door of the school bus on the floor, so it's a major safety concern."

A safety concern that these parents want addressed, in case an accident happens.

"Just that one time that children are gonna get thrown or hit or something's gonna happen, and I want them to be safe before something happens instead of going and looking back and saying we should have did this," said Dysart.

Dysart said she plans to go to the next school board meeting with other parents to ask for something to change.

The assistant superintendent said none of their buses are over capacity and that all the children are safe. He said they do have more children enrolled in school this year and they plan to add two large buses to the routes by next week.

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