CHARLES CITY, Iowa – When parents put their kids on a school bus, they have to give up control and hope all will be OK.
Megan Foster of Charles City said school bus safety is a top priority. She’s concerned about why the Charles City Community School bus her stepson Kaydn Sorenson rides is so full, leaving him without a seat.
“I picked him up like I usually do every night around 4 p.m. He gets in the car and he said he was just tired of it,” said Foster. “”He’s like, ‘mom, this is the seventh time this happened. I said what? He said he’s (bus driver) has us sitting in the aisles.'”
Foster said Sorenson told her there’s at least 10 kids sitting or standing in the aisles of the school bus. She said she’s concerned not only for Sorenson but all the kids. Foster said Sorenson’s friend who rides another bus in the district is upset with not having a seat available, too.
“He said a car cut this bus off and his friend went forward and hit his head,” said Foster.
Charles City Community Schools Transportation Director Jerry Mitchell said bus drivers will not put any students on the bus that exceeds the rated capacity for the bus.
Mitchell said what’s happening is if students don’t want to sit two or three to a seat, which happens during the in-town shuttle from the new middle school to the old middle school, kids will get out of their seats.
“They’ll start to push a student out in the aisle way, the bus driver’s job is to get them back in the seat,” he said.
Mitchell said it’s also the bus driver’s job to focus on the road. He said when he heard about the complaint, he started investigating, which takes some time.
“So this incident that happened Friday morning, by Monday morning we already had it solved and have an extra bus up,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell said if parents have concerns, he recommends first speaking with the school bus driver. If further assistance is needed, Mitchell said to contact the transportation center or speak with the superintendent directly.