Baltimore County parents request hearing on school transportation

Posted at 11:16 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-12 23:16:18-04

It wasn't on the agenda but, one by one, parents made sure they had the ear of Board of Education members during Tuesday's meeting.

"This has been so many years, year after year, of the same problems," said Central Area Advisory Group parent Daya Chaney Webb.

Parents are speaking out after the school year has started with several complaints about school buses and transportation. They say buses have been too late, too early and sometimes the wrong bus altogether.

For the first time, parents are tracking their claims through social media and presenting them to the Board with hopes of seeing change.

"We got some pretty alarming reports from parents to say the least," said Thor Tryggvason.

The dozens of reports include that of a parent who called 911 after their Parkville Middle School student was picked up by the wrong bus. A second parent describes their student being dropped off at the wrong stop, the last of the day, and not taken home.

"You can't just leave an Elementary child anywhere just because it was your last stop," said Tryggvason.

Tuesday night, several of those parents spoke during the public comment period and formally requested a public hearing on transportation. Many board members responded, claiming that more needs to be done. Some said communication problems, a lack of resources and outdates policies be causing the issues.

In an interview with ABC 2 News before the meeting, board member Julie Henn said that she supports the idea of a public hearing.

"I want to make sure parents are getting the support they need," she said, "When there's a problem, they should be able to contact one person and find out where their student is."

Board Chair Edward Gilliss and Interim Superintendent Verletta White both declined comment at Tuesday's meeting.