Posted: Feb 27, 2013 6:44 PM by Michael Shingleton
Updated: Feb 27, 2013 6:55 PM
ADDIS - Nearly 200 parents in West Baton Rouge Parish have signed a petition asking the school board to get rid of "First Student," the private bus company outsourced years ago to provide cheaper school transit for the parish.
A video was sent to News 2 that shows dozens of elementary students getting off one school bus and onto another already loaded with kids.
Parents called it a "unsanctioned bus transfer" that was done because the bus drivers wanted to save time and "get their routes done quicker because they don't want to make the whole route."
"It was four different schools on one school bus. My child had to stand up the entire way to school," Jamie Crosbie explained, "elementary school kids are suppose to be on one bus and high school kids are suppose to be on another."
The school system said that's not the case, and railroad tracks are to blame.
Addis is split by numerous railroad lines and a rail yard where trains move slow and sometimes do not move at all blocking the crossings.
West Baton Rouge Parish School Superintendent David Corona explained the drivers would load an entire neighborhood on one bus instead of potentially getting another one stuck behind a train.
"Their intentions were good, but too many kids were on the bus and kids weren't able to sit down while the bus was moving. That's totally unsafe, and that should not have happened but did."
Corona said bus drivers will no longer overload buses or transfer students, and all buses will make their designated routes.
First Student echoed Corona and said student safety is their top priority.