• Parents raise safety concerns over bus overcrowding

    By: Rachel Stockman

    Updated:

    PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - Paulding County parents say they are concerned about their children’s safety on school buses after seeing students being forced to sit in the aisles because of overcrowding.
     
    One of those concerned parents contacted Channel 2 Action News through Facebook about the issue.
     
    Miranda Coon sent cellphone photos depicting students crowding the bus and sitting in the aisle on her son’s bus route from Paulding County High School.
     
    “If the bus is going to stop quickly, those kids are going to fly. If there is an accident, those kids are going to roll all over each other. If there is a fire, how are they going to get off the bus?” Coon said.
     
    “It worries me because I have a feeling one of these day, kids are going to fall and bust their head or something,” said student Austin Oliver.
     
    Austin told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman he’s been forced to sit on the floor before.
     
    After seeing the pictures, Paulding County School leaders say they are making changes.
     
    “We did put an administrator on the bus after showing pictures to our transportation director and we are going to make some changes tomorrow,” said Suzanne Wooley of the Paulding County School District.
     
    Wooley told Stockman the buses hold 72 passengers, per the manufacturer. She says students can sit three to a seat.
     
    “Three in a seat isn’t going to cut it. Maybe for elementary schoolers,” Coon said.
     
    “If a bus reaches capacity, we will make immediate adjustments where necessary. That may include balancing loads or creating new routes. At no time should students be sitting in the aisle or standing on the bus,” Wooley said.
     
    While there are no federal regulations about bus seating, the National Highway Safety says the norm is to put three elementary school children, or two middle school or high school students per seat.


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