York County parents say school buses are arriving late, or not at all

Posted at 3:16 PM, Mar 03, 2017

YORK CO., Va. - A mom says so far this school year, she has had to drive her 9-year-old son to Yorktown Elementary School at least fifteen times.

The reason: The school bus never showed up.

"I'm just like completely outraged," says Mary Douglas.

Douglas says on Thursday her son Romeo was waiting for the bus outside at Grafton Station apartments around 8:30 a.m.

She looked outside and saw the he was no longer there and assumed the bus picked him up.

However, an hour later, he showed up back at home.

"He said, 'My bus didn't come can you give me a ride to school?' and I said what do you mean, where have you been?" says Douglas.

She says the apartment office let him wait inside, but the bus didn't show up for an hour.

"That's an hour of school he just missed, so he missed morning work."

Douglas posted on Facebook about her frustrations and several parents came forward with similar stories.

A parent of a seventh-grader at York Middle, Kerry Byrd, says her daughter waited at the bus stop for more than an hour yesterday before she drove her to school.

She says she got a call from the superintendent about the delay but it was not until 8:15 a.m., fifteen minutes after school already started.

"On average, my kids are late more than they are on time," she says.

Another parent tells News 3 her Tabb Middle School student sat with two other students in the same seat since Tuesday.

"My concern is the students' safety," she tells News 3.

Parents gave News 3 a letter that the York County School District sent out on Thursday to address the concerns, saying "The division has been experiencing higher than usual absentee rates for the last several weeks and has not had enough substitute drivers to fill every absence."

A spokeswoman for the YCSD told News 3 today that the division makes every attempt to notify parents when a bus may be off schedule.

"Our typical process in the afternoon is for transportation to notify schools of impacted routes and schools use our rapid notification system to send advisories. In the morning hours, though, we have limited staff who are responsible for both adjusting routes and reporting changes to routes. The time period to make these adjustments in the morning is also more compressed than in the afternoon. We recognize the need for improvement in our communications and have staff working on solutions."

She said the flu has impacted the transportation department, but there is also a severe shortage of drivers.

"The division is working actively to address this matter both during the budget cycle and beyond."