HISD bus drivers: We've had enough

April 10, 2012 3:27:58 PM PDT
Bus drivers with the Houston Independent School District say they have had enough. They say the way students behave while on the bus would be shocking to parents and say more help is needed.

Drivers had horror stories of kids using drugs on the bus and even jumping out of a moving bus. While they say it doesn't affect every bus route, plenty of schools are involved.

Fresh off their morning routes, dozens of HISD bus drivers wanted to send a message.

"We want the community to be aware of what's going on," said HESP Union President Wretha Thomas. "We want our kids to be safe on our school buses."

Members of their union told story after story of unruly kids on certain bus routes. Bus driver Velma Allen had problems just this morning.

She recalled, "A kid got on this morning fine. All of a sudden he was sluggish-talking. If I hadn't have been there, if it had been a sub driver, I think he could have died. I had to call the ambulance and get him."

Drivers say incidents like fights that have been caught on video in other parts of the country also occur in Houston. They say reporting the problems doesn't yield results. The school district says it's trying to be responsive.

"Driving a bus is hard work," said HISD spokesman Jason Spencer. "It's a tough job, and we take these concerns seriously that they're bringing forward to us."

HISD points out that it has 16 bus monitors and regularly meets with drivers to talk about problems. But officials admit certain routes can be difficult. Bus drivers say they just want the problems addressed soon.

"Something needs to be done, before somebody really gets hurt on these routes with these kids," Allen said.

Bus drivers say when the end of the school year approaches, problems often increase.

HISD has asked for reports of specific incidents. They say they are looking into each incident that has been reported.


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