Hundreds of Berkeley Co. parents look for alternate plans as bus drivers off for 2nd day

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 5:02 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:44 PM EST
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Hundreds of parents across Berkeley County are trying to figure out transportation for their kids to and from school as school bus drivers are off the job for a second day demanding better working conditions.

The effects of a demonstration from bus drivers on the Berkeley Lot are still being felt, and the situation has left some parents frustrated.

Hundreds of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents could be seen waiting in line Monday afternoon, essentially shutting down a two-lane road alongside the campus.

Among those in line at Berkeley Intermediate was Retha Rorie of Moncks Corner.

She says the current situation with the bus drivers left her granddaughter stranded for several hours on Friday.

“This was just something that I was just so angry,” Rorie said. “When she got home, she had a headache. She felt very bad, and this isn’t good for a child because they’re usually eating, having snacks. Thank God I did put a bottle of water in her backpack, but there was no notification for the family.”

A bus driver who took part in Friday’s demonstration said she was suspended for three days without pay. A Berkeley County School District spokesperson could not confirm the suspension, saying they cannot comment on personnel matters.

The district released the following statement to parents Monday night:

Thank you, once again, for the response and support you provided this morning and this afternoon. As a result of your assistance with transportation and coordination of carpools, we were able to complete transportation routes this evening more efficiently and timely than first anticipated.

Our permanent drivers, substitute drivers, and district and school CDL-certified drivers completed multiple routes and ensured that students arrived home safely this evening. We appreciate their continued commitment to our students. We continue to request your assistance to transport your child or coordinate carpool transportation for your child, if possible, for as long as you are able to provide this assistance. This will allow for buses to be utilized primarily by those who do not have any other transportation option.

It is important for our families to be aware of current transportation challenges and to prepare as much as possible for continued delays with services. We will continue to operate buses with all drivers available and will continue bus service daily until every student arrives at school and back home safely. Thank you again for your response, assistance and support today. Have a great evening!

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