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Clayton Schools working to address bus over-crowding after parents complain

Clayton County Schools work to address parents' safety concerns about over-crowded school buses.
Clayton County Schools work to address parents' safety concerns about over-crowded school buses.
The Commons Getty Collection

Clayton County Public Schools join other districts around the country scramming to find solutions to over-crowded school buses. The new school year has brought Clayton County more students and bus route changes. As a result some students have found themselves sitting on the floor of district buses. Parents are demanding that school officials do something about the over-crowed buses because they say it’s simply not safe.

Parent Robin Davis told Channel 2 Action News that she just learned from her 8-year-old daughter that she has been sitting on the floor of an over-crowed school bus since school started a few weeks ago.

Davis said, “It’s bad enough that students already ride the buses without seat-belts”. She said the district should have notified parents of the bus over-crowding.

8-year-old Carolina Davis explained to Channel 2 what has apparently become a normal experience for her as she sits on the bus floor.

"Sometimes I'll just hold on to the two chairs beside me and I'll just try to balance myself," said the Suder Elementary student.

Tai Robinson said her children also attend Suder Elementary and she too worries that her sons could be injured as they sit on the floor of a moving school bus.

"We put our children in the hands of these people every day on this bus," Robinson told Channel 2. “The children are going to fly forward with nothing to stop them.”

The Clayton County School System said it is working on solutions as it has heard for many parents complaining about the over-crowded conditions.

Clayton County School’s spokesperson, Vicki Constantinides said with the district’s record enrollment of 53,000 students this year, they admit there are some school buses experiencing overages.

The school system added between 1,700 to 2,000 students this year, bringing the number of bus riders to under 27,000 student. Adding to the issue is this year transportation zone changes. Elementary school students that live more than 1-mile from their school are eligible for transportation. Middle & High school students living more than 1.5 miles from their school are eligible for transportation.

Clayton County says while the transportation department is re-working its bus routes to address parent’s concerns, it assures parents that students are being transported safely.

Constantinides told Channel 2, "School buses are built for safety so that the children who are squatting on the floor, or as older students may be standing, they are still safe in a school bus."

She also points out that they system is meeting state requirements which allows for a 20 percent overage on school buses.

Clayton County advises parents to check the district’s website for communication about any changes concerning the bus routes. Bus route information is updated on a weekly bases. Click here to review current bus stop information.

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