DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - If your child goes to school in the DeKalb County School District, they may not be able to take the bus to school today.
During a board meeting held on April 16, one bus driver from the school district spoke about concerns over drivers’ safety as well as the need to revamp the DeKalb County School District’s transportation department.
The spokesperson even claimed that employees were intimidated and told to not speak at the board meeting.
"Why is it, that just this morning, we had regional managers and supervisors trying to intimidate the drivers and telling them if we go and speak out at the board meetings, if we even think about protesting, they will write us up," she said.
According to a post published to the DeKalb Schools Fact Checker website, a memo started to circulate among bus drivers and monitors last week stating that DeKalb County Schools bus drivers would “be sick” on Thursday and Friday, April 19 and 20.
The list of concerns shared with the Board and the superintendent is extensive, including requests for a salary increase, better retirement plans, fair pay for sick days, bonuses and many more.
DeKalb County Schools released a statement to parents and guardians that the superintendent has been meeting with bus drivers and transportation staff to find a solution so students don’t have to suffer the consequences.
The statement warns parents that bus drivers may be “a little later than usual” but students won’t be penalized for being tardy.
“There will be no consequences to students scheduled to take the Georgia Milestones and arrive late as a result of bus transportation issues. The district will work to find time for students to take the test.”
A call was also sent out to parents in the school district that said,
"This is an important message from the DeKalb County School District. You may have heard talk about the possibility that some of our bus drivers may not report to work during the next three days. DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green has been meeting with drivers and we are working in partnership to address their concerns. In the meantime, we have a contingency plan in place. Please note, some buses may arrive and pick up a little later than usual. Some of you may be concerned about the impact this will have on testing. There will be no consequences to students if they arrive as a result of a late bus. The district will work to find time for students to take the test. If you have transportation questions pertaining to a late or missed bus, please call our hotline at 678-676-1200. Please know that the district's top priority is getting your children to and from school safely. Thank you for your continued support of the DeKalb County School District."
The district says if bus drivers actually go through with this plan, parents will be notified with a phone call.