Bus route delayed, leaving students waiting out in the cold

PARK HILL, Mo. - Students got home on time Friday afternoon along the bus route from Plaza Middle School,  but the journey to school that morning took almost an hour longer.

"He was all bundled up. He had a hat on, the scarf, gloves everything. He was good to be out there for a little while but not for 45 minutes," Don Bonjour said of his son.

Bonjour's 6th grader finally made it to school but was back home by early afternoon sick.

"I was upset because it was really cold out there this morning and I know perfectly well the kids shouldn't be out there for that long," he said.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Paul Kelly explains the bus driver was late but the First Student bus service didn't know it.

"In my mind, that's unacceptable," Kelly said.

The reason behind the delay was that an earlier crew started the busses to warm them up so the keys were gone.  Normally the bus drivers pick up the keys.

"In this case, when you have a separate start crew independent of the driver, the potential for us to be able to check that system through a key staying on the board they missed a step," Kelly said.

A spokesperson for First Student tells me it's not acceptable and there is now a new protocol in place so it never happens again.

I did ask if the driver faces any disciplinary action but he declined to comment.

The district assures students who were late to school won't have to worry as their tardies won't go on their attendance records.

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