'Distressing' school bus ride leaves kids in tears on first day of school
Several Calgary parents are calling for tougher school bus protocol after a ride home from the first day of school went astray, leaving some kids crying and one who wet her pants.
Parents say the Southland Transportation bus ride from Brentwood School had kindergarten to grade 5 students riding the bus home for up to quadruple the expected time, because the driver got lost and would not call for help or listen to kids who knew the location of the stop.
“My kids were actually the first off the bus and they were totally inconsolable, crying, both of them,” said Tamara Morris, who had a Grade 1 and Grade 5 student on the bus.
Her husband Jamie Morris drove their daughters to school the day after the ordeal.
“The bus arrived back here an hour and forty minutes after it left,” he said. “Normally it would take twenty minutes.”
Parents were also concerned the GPS did not seem to be turned on so the parents could use the tracking app.
CTV reached out to Southland Transportation, after several parents called the company with their concerns.
Late Wednesday, Southland spokesperson Pamela Deadmarsh emailed a statement that said, "Student safety is paramount to Southland Transportation, and we are deeply sorry for the concern and frustration this has caused.
"We are currently conducting a full investigation into the incident, however we can confirm we had a technical issue with the MyBusStop app that has since been rectified.
"In addition to this, our Assistant General Manager rode the route this afternoon to ensure there were no further issues."
The Calgary Board of Education released a statement in part saying:
“School staff have spoken to the students that were on the delayed bus to discuss their experience and any concerns they have, and will be sharing information with families.”
“CBE Transportation staff continues to work with Southland Transportation to understand the issue and to prevent a similar situation from happening again.”