Hillsborough County school bus driver Bonnie Dukes is hopeful that a meeting Monday night will result in changes that will create a safer environment for children.
“You don't provide the necessary training. You may have one but no follow ups,” is one concern that Dukes will voice.
“We are not allowed to let the kindergarteners off without a parent being at the bus stop. On a daily basis you have parents sitting in cars,” said Duke.
She says moral is low among transportation workers and student safety is at risk unless there are policy changes. Those are some of the concerns she will voice Monday night at a community town hall meeting hosted by school board member April Griffin.
Dukes says it's important for board members like Griffin to hear transportation employee concerns.
Transportation employees were able to speak out about problems when they participated in focus groups initiated by the superintendent in March.
“We were going to have eight meetings, we ended up having many more than that,” said Steve Hegarty.
That information will be complied into a report that will be released next month.
This is the latest in many meetings about transportation. In January, an investigation began after four employees wrote a letter suggesting the district didn't resolve problems that surfaced after two special-needs students died in 2012.
“Being that the focus groups are in house, I doubt that anything would come from it. So I’m glad that the school board members decided to do their own,” said Duke.
“She needs to be patient and see exactly what comes out of it and I think we are going to prove her wrong,” added Hegarty.