A Maricopa mom says she called to complain after her child was crammed into an overcrowded school bus, but she was told to “get in line.”
Jennifer Peterson says her teen son had been complaining all week about crowding on the bus he takes to and from Maricopa High School, so she asked him to snap a photo on his cell phone, and it showed kids packed in the seats and crouching in the aisle.
“If they were in an accident, kids would be trampled on and kicked and punched,” says Peterson. “I said I want to call and make a formal complaint about the crowded buses and she goes, 'Stand in line.'”
Peterson’s son claims the bus was in motion when he snapped the picture, but there is no way to verify that. Still, Maricopa Unified School District officials say they were concerned when they saw the picture.
“The whole idea is that a bus driver understands once they have kids on board they should not be moving unless they have everybody cleared out of the aisles,” says MUSD Human Resources Director Tom Beckett. “Today actually we’re doing a head count of all of our buses and making sure that we have space for those students.”
Beckett says drivers are being reminded of their training as transportation officials work to tweak the routes and put more buses on the road. He expects some issues to be resolved by Friday.
The MUSD school year kicked off Monday. Peterson says she would have felt better if the district reached out to parents letting them know they were working out the kinks.
“Hey we're having issues with our bus, any parents who are capable of picking up their children please do so until we get this resolved. There was no phone call, no letter, no nothing,” says Peterson.
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