MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County bus driver has stepped down after the school district kept one of his stops on a major highway despite his request that they move it.
Last week, a Mount Pleasant bus stop was moved from inside the neighborhood on Bennett Charles Road to Highway 41.
“We’re really afraid for our kids safety, being on that highway," Stacia Huger, whose child rides the bus, said. "We really are afraid of them standing out there waiting for the bus. It’s too congested. It’s too much traffic. We need a change, and we need a change now.”
When the inital change was made, Rickey Gathers, the now-former bus driver, threatened to quit because of it.
“There’s no justification behind this. None. If they’re going to act like this, I don’t want to be a part of the system, because if one of those children gets hurt out there, I don’t want to be around when it happens," Gathers said last week. “The people sitting behind the desk in the office need to bring their butt out here and check it out for themselves."
Charleston County School District spokesperson Sully Witte said the stop will be kept as is.
In a statement from CCSD, it added the stop has been “thoroughly reviewed by both the district’s office of student transportation and the State Department of Education.”
“Based on safety assessments conducted by both the South Carolina Highway Patrol and CCSD this year, it is in the best interest of our students and the bus driver to keep the stop at its current location,” the statement said.
Parents are hoping the district reconsiders and puts the stop back where it has been for five years. They’re then hoping their former bus driver will return.
“Mr. Rickey loves our kids like his own, and to hear that he stepped down, because of all these changes and the unfairness, it’s heartbreaking" Huger said. “He’s really somebody that we’ve come to trust and love. He’s always on time, never had an incident as far as safety is concerned with our kids.”
“If somebody who’s a professional driver, who sees the unsafety of the kids being on 41, what do you think the parents feel? What do you think we feel," Richard Habersham, whose grandson rides the bus, asked.
Durham spokesperson Ed Flavin said the company has no control over the routes. That’s done by the district.