Parents want to know how students landed on party bus during field trip

by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:

Party buses were used to bring around 130 fifth-graders back to Morningside Elementary School after a field trip to a camp in Toccoa.

ATLANTA - Some Atlanta parents want to know why students rode on party buses coming back from a field trip.

Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri found the party buses were used to bring around 130 fifth-graders back to Morningside Elementary School after a field trip to a camp in Toccoa.

The mix-up happened when the company contracted by the school to transport the students had no buses available.

They reached out to another company for help but did not mention the buses were for children.

"There's a refrigerator on board. A little bit of a VIP section if you want to be separated from the rest of your group," said Mark Purdy of Premiere Party Bus, who took Viteri through one of the buses that were used to transport the students.

The 32-passenger limo style bus had leather seats, a dance pole and even a fog machine.

Purdy said most of the bells and whistles were off Friday when his company sent three party buses to transport the group of fifth-graders.

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Purdy said the school contracted bus company, Coast to Coast Tours, asking for last minute help getting clients to Atlanta from Toccoa.

Purdy said knowing the age of the clients would have made a difference.

"We had no earthly idea that there were kids that were going to be on the bus," Purdy said.

Some Morningside parents had concerns about kids so young being on a party-themed bus.

"It doesn't seem very appropriate," one mother said, asking not to be identified. "It would probably cause some questions to be asked that I'm not prepared to answer at this point in my child's life."

The mother said she had no complaints. She said her daughter got home safely and that's her priority.

A school representative said the district has asked schools not to use the vendor, Coast to Coast Tours, pending the outcome of an investigation into what happened.

"I think it's always appropriate to be conservative to look into everything before you proceed especially when it has to do with your children," the parent said.


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