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Bus driver crisis: 'We'll do our best,' school district says in plea for parents to pickup students Thursday

2 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago Thursday, February 17 2022 Feb 17, 2022 February 17, 2022 2:34 PM February 17, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: WBRZ

AMITE - Parents were asked to pick up their children from school instead of relying on public school transit in Tangipahoa Parish Thursday after more than 10% of bus drivers called out sick.

"...Many bus drivers... can not run their afternoon routes," an emailed note from the Tangipahoa Parish School System transportation office notified parents around lunchtime Thursday.  Parents were asked to pick students up in the carpool lanes.

For students who must take the bus, their rides home would be long, the district said.

"...We will do our best to get [students] home, but it could be later than expected," the email alerted parents.

In an email to WBRZ, Tangipahoa Parish Schools Superintendent Melissa Stilley downplayed the issue at first.

"No bus driver has talked to me or any assistant superintendent about any concerns or grievances.  A small percentage of drivers have called in for various reason.  That's really all I can tell you," Stilley wrote.

When WBRZ followed up with a copy of the note to parents which outlined a far more serious concern, Stilley elaborated more: Thirty of the parish's 270 drivers were out - about 11%.

"The district put [the note] out to let parents know in case their child was late getting home," the superintendent said.

In June, some bus drivers were unhappy with plans for how the school system was organizing a pay raise.  In October, the school system was begging for bus drivers, even raising wages and offering free training. 

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