NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Parents are frustrated their kids are missing school because of tardy or absent Lee County school bus drivers.
Two parents in North Fort Myers say their children's individual school buses have not picked their kids up on several different occasions. This has resulted in their students missing 6 days of school, and receiving a number of tardy marks.
One parent tells 4 In Your Corner her child's bus is supposed to arrive at 6:40 A.M. Most recently, the bus did not show up Monday. "My child has missed 6 days because the bus driver doesn't come," said the parent, who does not own a car. "You're standing out here until 7, 8 o'clock waiting on a bus. It's extremely frustrating."
Another grandparent tells 4 In Your corner her child's bus driver is always on time, at 7:02 A.M. However, when she is absent, substitute drivers never seem to make it to her grandchild's bus stop. He has also missed 6 days because of the no-shows. "Do your job, you get paid to do it. Make sure these kids get into school and get an education, because they're dropping the ball on that," said the grandparent.
When 4 in Your Corner asked the school district about the no-show buses, they said one of the buses did show up, but it was an hour and a half late. A spokesperson sent the following statement:
"As for this past Monday: 2 Parentlink messages went out about bus 1353. The first at 6:16 said it was running late, the second at 7:17 said that the bus would be #2832 and confirmed it was running late. The bus got to the stop at 8:36am and delivered students to Littleton at 9:02am.
As for bus #2842 on Monday, a Parentlink message went out at 7:36am that those students would either be on bus 2837 or bus 1822 that morning. Transportation is in its busy time right now so will get back to me about the routes for those."
If you consistently have bus issues, the Lee County School District says they have a department that addresses excessive tardiness and absences under student services. They add if the student is late due to a bussing issue, it does not go on the student’s record. In the rare instance there’s an issue where a bus doesn’t pick up a student, they will send a bus back to get the child and take him or her to school.
If a parent gets a notification that a bus will be late, they can call transportation to find out the ETA of the bus if they wish. All of the numbers are on the school district's website.