Turbulent first day of school for students when bus driver fails to make stop

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Parents in south Kansas City say the first day of school for their kids was a nightmare. Nearly a dozen school kids live on Richmond Avenue off East 99th Street. Their bus stop is about 75 yards away. Parents tell FOX 4 Wednesday’s first day of school turned scary when the bus driver never made it to that stop.

Harold Reed saw his granddaughter off to Truman Elementary school Wednesday from her bus stop on East 99th Street. He says that afternoon when it was time to pick her up from the stop, “The bus came by sometime after two and didn’t even stop. So we waited for about 45 minutes for the bus to come back around. The bus never returned.”

Reed jumped in his pickup and drove around looking for the bus. He says he found it off Hillcrest and 101st.

“My granddaughter, who was in tears by this time, saw my truck and said, 'that’s my Paw paw’s truck,'” he explained.

He says the driver let two students leave with him.

“I thank God it was my neighbor picking them up, but I was terrified worried. What if they let them off somewhere where the kids don’t know where they’re at, or they just don’t come back with the children?” mother Emily Shaffer said

Schaffer says she called the Hickman Mills School District and Apple Bus Company dozens of times but couldn’t get an answer.

“The bus company I know is swamped. Just for an example: We may have 150 students that register on Tuesday alone, the day before school started. And all those children were wanting to get routed and bus information by eight o’clock Wednesday morning, so there was some lag time there and parents were frustrated,” Steven Meyers, the Executive Director of Operations with the school district said.

The district says this is the first year it has worked with that company and that some of the delays come from a breakdown in communication.

“We just got out of a meeting with transportation, working on improving our processes to share that information for new students so we get them all properly routed and picked up and dropped off on time,” Meyers said.

The Hickman Mills School District tells us about 4,400 students use bus transportation.