JCPS bus drivers ‘tired of being treated like garbage’
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More than 140 bus drivers for Jefferson County Public Schools called out, forcing Kentucky’s largest school district to cancel 123 bus routes.
JCPS bus issues have been well-documented since the first day of school in August.
But instead of getting better, the problems are growing now with a coordinated sick out effort. This is creating widespread problems for parents and students.
JCPS made changes to their transportation system at the beginning of the school year to try and mitigate the late buses, wrong dropoffs, and other problems. But now the school district have a new one with bus drivers calling out in droves.
“Drivers are tired of being called, ‘you fat blank’ or ‘you a-’ and they’re tired of being cussed out,” 783 President John Stovall said.
Bus drivers are saying they’re tired of the lack of discipline on the buses.
On Monday, more than 140 of them called out.
In a text to WAVE News, one bus driver said “all the drivers are getting tired of being treated like garbage.” They said “JCPS is doing nothing to fix or help with the disappointment and they are adding new students on our bus routes everyday.”
Stovall said the school district is making an effort to address the discipline issues.
“The past month, they’ve been more receptive than they have in years,” Stovall said. “They realize it’s a problem. And they’re trying to address it, but like I said, it’s not going to happen overnight.”
There has been discussion after discussion at JCPS School Board meetings about how to fix the bus issues.
Discipline has been brought up more than once at the meetings, like at the Sept. 26 meeting.
“If behavior is driving them out, because they said it’s not the hours and it’s not the money,” JCPS School Board Member District 5 Linda Duncan said. “It’s the behavior of the students.”
What could be done about student behavior was also discussed.
“I do want to explore those conversations about long term suspensions or removals,” JCPS School Board Member District 7 Sarah McIntosh said.
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio is willing to have these discussions regarding student behavior.
“If that is something that this board wants to entertain, around not allowing students to ride the bus after certain amounts, that’s something we can discuss,” Pollio said.
Mcintosh told WAVE News on Friday the following:
“There are few problems in our district that would not be positively impacted by a comprehensive shift in our approach to student behavior.”
Duncan said she asked Pollio to stop bus fights by using the discipline code’s 20-day bus suspension option.
Duncan said some principals will and some won’t.
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