Glitches mar first day of Whitfield County school busing
The first day of school for some Whitfield County students was a rough ride. A glitch in the school system's bus route software had some students on the bus for more than three hours Thursday afternoon.
Friday, August 10th 2012, 6:06 pm EDT
Friday, August 10th 2012, 6:10 pm EDT
WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -- The first day of school for some Whitfield County students was a rough ride.
A glitch in the school system's bus route software had some students on the bus for more than three hours Thursday afternoon.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Matt Barbour spoke with the school system about what happened.
"We had to call and the phone lines are busy. We don't know if they've had an accident on the bus. I mean, there's nothing being reported to let you know of your concern," said Shannon Coker.
Coker says her 11-year-old-son did not get home from school until 7:30 p.m.
"He got off the bus and said, 'This is ridiculous. I've been on the bus for three hours now. He said I'm starving now. Can we please go get something to eat," she tells us.
And he's not the only one.
Parents took to the Channel 3 Facebook page calling the first day of school a 'complete disaster'. Another parent saying her son spent more than hour waiting for school bus to pick him up.
"We're dealing with new drop off locations and the software just wasn't ready," explained Eric Beavers.
Beavers, with Whitfield County Schools, says the school system cut 11 routes this year in effort to save around $300,000. And changed from door-to-door pick up to designated drop off and pick up points.
"We understand that parents are frustrated and we're frustrated, too. We want to make this right. We will make this right," promised Beavers. "In fact the Whitfield county school system is sending home a letter from the superintendent apologizing for the inconvenience it caused for both the students and the parents."
The Superintendent writes, "I am embarrassed for the inconvenience and disruption of the education of our students. I want to assure you that the chaos over bussing these last two days does not meet my expectations."
"If they're going to take the time to cut bus routes, they should take the time to cut the glitches out as well," said Coker
"We've been using our website, Facebook and Twitter. Been doing parent-link calls," added beavers.
The school system now has a special section on its website to help parents through the transition.
"In the long run, I think it will be a better service and they'll be able to run better," Beavers said.
School administrators say they'll be working through the weekend to fix the bugs in the software and hope to have everything ironed out by Monday.