Belinda Landry was given a note by her bus driver Tuesday afternoon informing her that there will be no bus available to bring her children home after school on Wednesday. The note advised her to make arrangements to have someone pickup her children after school.
The note stunned Landry because she operates a day-care out of her home and can not leave to go pick up her two children at Indian Bayou after school. She called a family member to help her out.
“This is not right,” Landry said. “We pay taxes to have our children brought to and from school by school buses. I want to know, ‘can the School Board do that?’”
The note is because the School Board has a shortage of substitute bus drivers to take the place of a bus driver who is sick and did not make it to work.
The two other bus drivers who bring students to Indian Bayou were able to pick up the students of the missing bus driver Wednesday morning, about 45 minutes later, however. The students of the absent bus driver got to school at 8:25 a.m. - 10 minutes after the bell rung.
“No one got a tardy,” said Indian Bayou Principal Howard Guillory.
Guillory said he received a few phone calls from parents Wednesday morning wanting to know how many days they will have to pick up their child at school. He said only one day. “They understand there is a shortage of substitute drivers. It is hard to get someone to drive in Indian Bayou.”
By 1 p.m. on Wednesday, the sick bus driver who took off Wednesday morning decided to go back to work and run the route that afternoon.
The school board’s transportation department has only three substitute drivers to take care of the entire transportation department.
“There will be times where a bus driver will not be able to go back to work,” Landry said.
The School Board is in the process of trying to recruit substitute bus drivers.