Officials with the Lee County school district are reporting that 20 bus drivers have resigned from their positions within the first week of school.
When asked why the drivers are leaving, Lee county schools communications coordinator Robert Spicker says he believes it’s due to a variety of reasons:
“Some of the factors for our bus drivers, for them personally were concerned about students not wearing masks. There’s a lot of stress on them, picking up extra routes and filling in extra time to make sure that we are picking up everybody,” said Spicker. “And unfortunately, they often take the brunt of a parent’s frustration when the doors open and that just drives them away.”
Spicker reported that the district was able to replace all of the drivers who quit, however, they were already 100 drivers short to begin with.
Some parents like Jennifer Sopka told our new partners at WPTV that sometimes her daughter misses school or she has to take her to school because the bus does not show up:
“They did not come so I drove her to school. And they also did not come to pick her up to bring her back home from school and I had to drive in the middle of a storm,” said Sopka. “There were multiple parents there and the teacher that dropped her off to me told me that there was only one bus that came to pick up any students.”
Spicker reported that due to the staffing shortage, many of the other drivers are picking up additional routes which means some students may arrive to school or home at a later time but the bus is coming:
“Those buses always have and adult and sometimes more than one on board. So, they’re always going to be supervised. Not going to tell you that’s perfect, it’s not the most comforting thing to hear as a parent. But they’re not alone,” said Spicker.
He also reported that if any parent is concerned about the whereabouts of their child’s bus, they can track it at WheresTheBus.com
If you are interested in becoming a bus driver in Lee County, click here.