ATQ: Students forced to walk to school due to lack of bus driver - WNEM TV 5

ATQ: Students forced to walk to school due to lack of bus drivers?

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

One Mid-Michigan parent is outraged after she was told her daughter may need to walk to school because the bus she rides is too crowded.

Millington Community Schools is facing a shortage of bus drivers, which means more kids are being packed onto the buses they have.

Tabatha Nagy dropped her 12-year-old daughter off at the bus stop on Wednesday, only to get a frantic phone call from her moments later.

"She called me a minute later saying the bus driver had told her they're no longer able to ride the bus and they're old enough to walk to school," Nagy said.

Nagy was shocked when her daughter Mia told her the bus was full. She said the driver told Mia because she lived so close to school she would have to start walking.

"We're not going to send our kids to walk the streets when there's danger lurking around every corner these days," Nagy said.

The kids were brought to and from school on the bus on Wednesday, but Nagy is angry she didn't receive any formal notice of a route change.

TV5 reached out to the superintendent of Millington schools to ask the tough questions.

"I think our driver was trying to be helpful and let the kids know hey, we're watching this. I think the message came across to some of the kids they're not allowed to ride, but that's certainly not our intention," Superintendent Bruce Martin said.

Martin said they have fewer bus drivers this year than bus routes and admits it is causing some problems, but they aren't making students walk to class.

He believes the incident with Nagy's daughter was a simple misunderstanding.

"That said, for now we're letting all of your students ride. We're going to watch this and see where our capacities with our buses. If there comes a point where we have over crowding and not enough drivers, we may need to ask the older students to walk," Martin said.

Martin said if it were to happen, it would only be for the students that live very close to the school and the district would send out a notice long before.

For Nagy, she said that's not a viable option.

"We pay taxes. It's not our job to figure it out for them. They need to figure it out. Even if this is a way to get the word out that Millington needs school bus drivers, than so be it," Nagy said.

Martin said the district lost a bus driver this year, which meant the other drivers have to pick up the slack. He said the first few weeks of school are a gauge for how packed the buses will be.

A change may need to be made to accommodate the students, but that conversation has yet to take place.

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