JCPS parents had mixed reactions on the third day of school

Mixed reactions from parents on the third day of school
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 11:52 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On the first day back to school with all grade levels in over 10 days, JCPS said all buses were clear by 7:48 pm.

However, not everything went according to plan for some parents.

All eyes were on the bus stops Monday as JCPS continues to smooth out the edges in their bus plan. Some people had good experiences, but it was bumpier for others.

Nearly 100,000 JCPS students returned to school Monday, and about 65,000 of them took the bus.

After Friday’s test run with just middle and elementary schools, some parents were holding their breath on Monday, since high schools were being added to the mix.

One parent at 23rd and Garland waited for her elementary school child. On the first day of school, her daughter didn’t get dropped off until 7:40 pm.

This time, the bus was expected at 5:35 p.m., and it showed up at 5:48 p.m. She said she now feels more confident JCPS will figure everything out.

But not every parent had a good experience.

“I have absolutely no faith that they’re going to fix anything,” said Jay Hamrick.

Hamrick shot a video as he waited for his son to get off the bus. Except, he wasn’t on the bus.

”So we have no idea where my son is,” Hamrick said. “Failure. Utter failure.”

As he tried to figure out where his son was, the driver drove away.

“I understand that she’s got a job to do,” Hamrick said. “She’s got other children, many more children to deliver. But you just drove away from a dad and are like, oh sorry I don’t have your kid. And you just left.”

A scary moment for a confused father.

“As a father, immediately your heart drops because you don’t know where your child is,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick said he called the school and was told at first his son wasn’t there. The school called him back 15 minutes later and said his son refused to get on the bus.

Most of Hamrick’s problem is the lack of communication, he says.

“I think that would’ve saved 80% of the problem,” he said. “Like, oh he didn’t want to get on the bus. He didn’t feel safe. He’s here at the school.”

This was Hamrick’s son’s first day taking the bus under the new plan, which includes a new bus stop.

“They’ve always adjusted it, made the stop, so it’s directly in front of my apartment complex,” he said. “And not walking across five considerably suicidal lanes here.”

The last nine years for Hamrick’s other children, the bus stop has been on the other side of New Cut Road. Now he and his seven-year-old son have to cross the busy street.

“Until my son has a safe, direct route to his house to get off of a school bus, it is not considered safe,” he said.

Hamrick said after what happened Monday, he’s not sure if he’s going to continue sending his son to a JCPS school.