Wintry weather Wednesday morning left some Buffalo Public Schools students stranded at bus stops and it did not sit well with some parents.
“No one has time to babysit First Student,” said Tatianna Devers of the bus company that transports BPS students to and from school.
BPS officials confirmed that some buses were having difficulty getting to bus stops due to icy conditions and traffic problems Wednesday morning.
Out of 670 buses that transport district students, 50 percent were about 20 minutes late, district officials said. Another 15 buses were up to an hour late and still more had not arrived at their schools by 10:30 a.m.
“With snow, ice and road closures this morning,the conditions were treacherous on the roads not only for school buses but for all motorists,” said Chris Kemper, spokesman for First Student in Cincinnati.
Parents like Devers, whose son is a sixth-grader at Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School, were not happy.
The family lives near East Delavan Avenue, and the 10-year-old boy’s bus stop is located at Pleasant Street and Beverly Road. The boy left the house at the regular time to catch the bus, which usually arrives at 7:11 a.m., but by 8 a.m. it still hadn’t come and her son came back home, Devers said.
The mother called the school because she could not get through to First Student, and she wasn’t particularly happy about what she was told.
“They said the majority of the buses had not left the terminal and that only three of the 14 buses had arrived at the school,” said Devers, who was home when her son came back.
The other problem is she does not have transportation to take him to school.
“What if I wasn’t home? I’m usually gone by 8,” she said. “Some parents have to leave their kids at home to go to work and pray their child makes it to the bus stop and the school safely.”
Devers said she was also told by staff at the school that students would not be penalized if their buses never showed up to pick them up.
“They told me they won’t mark students absent because they got notice from the bus company that the majority of buses hadn’t even left the terminal,” Devers said. Buffalo school officials confirmed that students whose buses were late will not be marked tardy, and those who were unable to get to school at all due to late buses will receive an excused absence.