Poplar Bluff parents voice concerns on bus overcrowding - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff parents voice concerns on bus overcrowding

(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS) (Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)

The first day of school is hard for many kids, but some of the children that attend Poplar Bluff Junior High didn't even have a seat to sit on the bus.

The buses were overcrowded causing kids to sit and stand in the aisles.

And it's something that parents were not happy about. 

"So the first day is concern," Terri Wiseley, mother of two, said. "Oh my gosh. They got too many kids."

She received a picture from her eighth-grade son of kids standing in the aisle while the bus was moving. 

"It wasn't just our bus which is what I thought at first," Wiseley said. "Then as social media started overflowing, as it does, there were parents everywhere saying. Our bus too. Our bus too."

Scott Dill, the superintendent of the Poplar Bluff School District, described the incident as an '"underestimation of ridership" due to the re-working of the district. The middle school and junior high ride on the buses together, covering all kids grades from four through eight.

But even with this Dill said kids still need to be safe.

"There shouldn't be kids standing on buses, ever," Dill said. "That's what my transportation staff has been asked to communicate." 

But Dill is not the only employee at the district who fears for the concerns of the children on the bus. Bus Driver Ron Whittenburgh also watches out for the children.

"It's the last thing that a bus driver wants is for a child to be injured on their bus," Whittenburgh said.

"And I know in their mind, you know, safety's first," Wiseley said. "I know they're concerned, you know, that's on their brain, to get these kid's home safe."

In order to help alleviate the overcrowding, the district has now added extra buses to routes as well as staffing stand-by drivers in case one route has too many kids.

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