• Mother: School didn't disclose bus crash information

    By: Diana Davis


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The mother of a Gwinnett County elementary school student said she should have been told her child was in a school bus accident.
    The woman told Channel 2's Diana Davis she was kept in the dark for nearly half an hour when the bus didn't show up.
    Carolynn Dodson said she waits for her son at the bus stop every afternoon. One day nearly two weeks ago, she said, the bus didn't arrive.
    “I'm pretty worried because I didn’t know where he was or what had happened,” Dodson said.
    Her son is a third-grader at White Oak Elementary.
    Dodson told Davis that other waiting parents called the school district and were told the bus had been in an accident.
    Dodson claimed she couldn’t find out how serious the wreck was.
    “I even tried driving up and down the streets trying to figure out where it was because like I said, I had no information. I didn't know if it was major or minor,” Dodson said.
    Davis found the Gwinnett County Police Department report that showed the accident was just a minor fender bender. The bus was rear-ended by another driver.
    Dodson said the bus finally dropped Aidan off about 90 minutes late. He had a letter from the district describing the accident.
    Dodson told Davis she believes the letter alone is not enough.
    “Major or minor, I think every parent has the right to know within those first 20 minutes what’s going on,” Dodson said.
    Gwinnett County school spokesman Jorgen Quintana told Davis that proper procedures were followed. He says it’s up to parents to contact the district when a bus is late.
    “That’s why we provide the phone numbers for parents so that they can get in touch with the appropriate person - who's supervising the routes,” Quintana said.
    Quintana added that it is not practical for the district to call the families of every child on a  bus -- in this case 35 kids.
    “If it’s an accident where we had injuries, of course absolutes, it’s a different process,” Quintana said.
    The school district said the only change it may make in the future is to make sure that every single parent has those emergency phone numbers.

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