A second parent has come forward with cell phone video showing a Maricopa Unified School District bus stuffed with students. Joe Quigg says his daughter captured the footage on her way to Desert Wind Middle School Tuesday morning.
“I see students who are on laps, I see students who are sitting in the aisles in the back,” says Quigg. He believes the overcrowded bus is a safety hazard for his child.
Quigg’s video looks much like an image provided by a parent back in August showing kids crammed onto a school bus running to Maricopa High School. At the time district officials said they were adjusting routes and adding more buses to accommodate students for the new school year.
The district admitted Wednesday the video clip captured by Quigg’s daughter showed an overcrowded bus. Tom Beckett with Maricopa Unified School District says the district is dealing with an uptick in student enrollment coupled with a bus driver shortage.
Beckett says the bus driver heading to Desert Wind Middle School followed protocol by calling for a second bus to transport overflow students once she realized there was a crowding issue.
“She pulled the bus over and requested a second bus to come and pick up the excess kids,” says Beckett.
He says the district has already added a second bus to the route.
“It's a brand new driver who we were in the process of training,” says Beckett.
Quigg called the district’s move “reactive” and says he’ll be checking in with his daughter to make sure she sees a change on the bus.
“Great. If they put another bus in, that's wonderful for the moment,” says Quigg. “But it always seems like a band-aid on a much larger wound.”
MUSD is advertising for new bus drivers.
Those interested in applying should contact the district:
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