Suffolk, Va. – More than 100 parents called or emailed the Suffolk School District about school bus delays on Tuesday. Some even called the police because no one from the school district would tell them what was going on.
One woman, Laurie, had 9 kids who were on four different buses.
“It was a nightmare,” says Laurie.
Her youngest, 4-year-old Cage, got out of school at 3:30 p.m. and he did not get back home until 2 ½ hours later.
“He’s four. I don’t know if he got off on another bus stop with another kid because it’s his first day of school. It’s very upsetting,” says Laurie.
She says she called repeatedly, but she did not get any answers. No alert was sent out by Suffolk Public Schools.
“The schools do really good about communication, but yesterday was a total flop,” says Laurie.
They have new staggered schedules to make up for 18 fewer bus drivers this year because of budget cuts.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk Public Schools says the day already started out a little hectic. She says eight buses had mechanical errors, the alert system was down along with the phone lines at the transportation department.
“If I can’t communicate to the school or if they can’t get to me, then we have a problem,” says Laurie.
Suffolk Schools says the problem should be fixed today.
Parents will need to sign into the school’s messenger system to indicate how they would like to get the alerts.