Clayton County School District addresses parent concerns over school bus drivers

Clayton County School District addresses parent concerns over school bus drivers
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Clayton County school officials are having to get creative amid a nationwide school bus shortage.

Denise Hall, Director of Transportation for the district, explained the county’s strategy of “doubling-back” ensures all kids can get to class, although it may delay their pickup time.

“We rely on the current driver to do their route that’s assigned to them, and then they double back and pick up another load for those who don’t have a driver assigned to them,” said Hall.

Since the start of the 2022-2023 school year, the district has hired nine new drivers.

However, a handful of drivers have also quit since the year began.

“One of our highest turnovers is to combat the behavior of the students. We don’t have adults who want to drive students,” said Hall. “We have to work as a community to resolve some of those issues.”

Several families in the district have told CBS46 stories about rude bus drivers.

One mother recently reported explicit language and gestures from a driver last week. She also said her daughter’s bus regularly arrived so late to Kemp Elementary, the cafeteria was closed upon arrival and she missed the school’s hot breakfast.

The district’s director of nutrition said no teachers or principals have told them about missing meals.

“There’s no case I’m aware of when a student has not had access – even if they came to school in a bus or a car,” said Audrey Hamilton, Clayton County School District Director of Nutrition.

District officials are reviewing reports over bus driver behavior and is investigating at least one incident.

The district is working to obtain data surrounding late bus arrivals so far this year, along with official complaints regarding bus drivers and student misconduct on buses.