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Parents Say Overcrowded School Buses are Unsafe, District Blames State Law

HERNANDO – Within the first few weeks of the 2017 school year, RNRF received numerous complaints of overcrowded school buses in Hernando County. Students of all ages were being forced to sit 3 to a seat or in the floor, in many cases, but school officials say because state law allows it, their hands are tied.

Today, RNRF received another rash of complaints from concerned parents, so we contacted the Hernando County School District to see what, if anything, is being done to alleviate the problem. According to HCSD Spokesperson Karen Jordan, the District hired 16 new drivers and 12 new bus attendants this year. I asked Jordan if the new employees would be help create additional routes, and she said, “Those were open positions from retirements, etc.” With 35 operational buses in surplus, I asked Jordan if the push for additional drivers would continue or if budget constraints are preventing new positions. I have not heard back from Jordan on my follow up question.

I reached out to School Board members, but the only response we received was from Susan Duval. “These are Middle and High School students,” says Duval. “The state needs to take the size of students into consideration and change the law,” she continued. I asked Duval if there was a hiring cap on new bus drivers and she said, “Not at all.” Duval said she would be speaking to the District about parent’s concerns.

Kelly Fernandez’ daughter attends Fox Chapel Middle School and says, “They have 3 kids to a seat but the 3rd is barely a seat at all.”

For the second time this year, Greg Launier contacted RNRF to complain about his daughter who rides on an overcrowded school buse. “Something MUST be done!!!,” Says Launier on a Facebook post. “. . .My daughter who attends Central High is forced to stand or sit on the bus floor because there are no seats. This has been an ongoing this this whole year. I have tried several times to contact DOT, but only get voice mails and no return calls. This is a very dangerous situation, and our children should be treated better, and not like herds of cattle.”

Jordan says, “If overcrowding is reported to the Transportation Dept. routes are often adjusted to ease that crowding.”

We will update this story if new information develops.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.

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  • 2 People fit in a bus seat. That’s common sense. All of our children should be provided busing. The money is being spent elsewhere!!! It’s not safe for our children to be walking to school now days. We need to all thank our school board. They made these horrible busing changes.

    Friday, 15 December 2017, 2:09 am
  • Stop voting for politicians that give tax breaks to businesses.

    That ain’t working out to well for you working class slobs who’s kids ride the bus.

    Ingoglia’s the problem. A straight up Bannon pick!

    Ya get what ya vote for people!

    Good Luck!

    Thursday, 14 December 2017, 7:11 pm
  • I have a cdl as well and talked with the bus driver that picks up and delivers kids on my block about his responsibilties. the way he is treated by the transportation department convinced me not too apply to drive.

    Thursday, 14 December 2017, 4:39 pm
  • I remember when we had this problem back in Delton, Michigan. I called a buddy at the state police post. He said there was no regulation covering the over crowding but to give the school a hint that I was a little upset he order a district wide inspection of all the school buses.

    Thursday, 14 December 2017, 11:24 am

    Thursday, 14 December 2017, 9:22 am
    • Yea if you live maybe a mile from school!! Not when the county has you zoned 5-7 miles away!!! 😡

      Saturday, 16 December 2017, 11:28 am
  • This has ALWAYS been an issue and now it’s a thing? Obviously nobody care because it’s a bus that or get 2 buses doing the same route. Simple as that. Get er done one way or another or don’t at all. Obviously Florida is the backwards state 🙄

    Thursday, 14 December 2017, 8:03 am
  • I’m not sure what the three in the seat problem is – that is the way it was for me back in the last century.

    Thursday, 14 December 2017, 7:31 am
    • Didn’t know Southwest was around back then. Oh well, it’s a sardine situation….

      Thursday, 14 December 2017, 10:10 am
  • Call the news team investigators and see if that helps the school system and law enforcement do their jobs!!
    I personally challenged the school board (on live television) to explain the misappropriation of state funding in the transportation dept.
    I also asked the board what they did with the excess monies they collected through the “loop hole” they were using.
    Their response was to ask me to table my questions for a private meeting with the board. When the T.V. cameras were off I was asked by 2 different board members if I would like to have a position on the board (IN FRONT OF WITNESSES.!!) I declined stating “the current members had more interest in their political agendas than they were showing for the students or school system”.
    Did you know that the state pays the school system, the cost of transportation, for your child to and from your address even if they walk or are transported by you?? The monies allocated by the state (for the entire year) are based on the number of students and their address. Look into it and BLOW THE WHISTLE!!

    Thursday, 14 December 2017, 6:41 am
  • You are LUCKY your child gets a ride to & from school!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to homeschool my son because I refused to allow a 8-9 year old to walk down Mariner Blvd for two miles to get to school & his father & I had to work!!!!! Sad, sad , sad!!!!! NO child in Florida should be denied transportation to ft an education!!!!! I would have been very happy to allow my kid to sit 3 in a seat if they would have transported him to & from!!!!!!!!!

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:08 pm
  • If you all have such concerns, go drive a school bus!!!!! You think you can do it better??? By all means…..try it!!°

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 9:19 pm
    • I do believe the issue is overcrowding not bus drivers.

      Thursday, 14 December 2017, 3:18 am
  • If you don’t like it, drop off and pick
    Up your own kid. I get some ppl work, but either way your kids your responsibility.

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 8:21 pm
  • At least your kids have a bus my child had to walk 2 miles back and forth to school every day. Which I don’t allow because I believe that is dangerous so I drop her off on my way to work and use my lunch break to pick her up. And I also pay taxes but doesn’t help me or my kid. The school and transportation system in Hernando County is ridiculous!!! And nothing will change.

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 7:43 pm
  • This is just one reason I decided not to apply for a driving job. And I have 18 years experience on my CDL in other states.

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 7:16 pm
    • Gail if your looking to drive with your CDL I have a great company and we are looking for drivers! Would love to discuss this with you all new trucks

      Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 9:29 pm
  • The whole school system is a joke let alone the buses! But by all means keep putting in new developments and everything for more people to live here and do nothing about building new schools or having enough busses on the roads for these kids

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 6:42 pm
    • Just shut up already Lena

      Thursday, 14 December 2017, 1:55 pm
    • AMEN!! It is a joke!! I don’t know all the ins and outs of the school board. And how they get into their positions. But I do know, that they all need to be fired! Especially that Lori Romano .what the hell does she do on her job anyway!? She sure doesn’t call parents Back, she doesn’t go to the schools, she doesn’t resolve school issues, I didn’t even know what she looked like until someone mentioned she was fired from other county jobs .and the only reason she’s still in Hernando county is because of one board member? We have all these problems with out county and school districts who can we go to with complaints and concerns??? Can’t go to dept of Edu ,they tell you they don’t deal with school districts. The school boards are in charge of themselves..WHAAAAAT???

      Saturday, 16 December 2017, 11:40 am
  • they’re gonna sweep it under the rug AGAIN!

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 6:26 pm
  • Sounds like Greg Launier may want to drive his own daughter to school. Maybe kids need to lose weight so they’re not so wide. How about switching to double decker buses?

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 5:26 pm
    • What an arse you are. We shouldn’t have to drive our kids to school. Don’t be a idiot. You must be with the school system.

      Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 7:59 pm
    • Why reply when you have nothing intelligent to add? You sound like an idiot.

      Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 10:51 pm
      • Why because I offered multiple solutions? Either you handle the transportation for your child, shrink the size of kids so 3 can fit to a seat, or make to buses bigger. If your best response is to call me an idiot I would ask that you take your own advice.

        Thursday, 14 December 2017, 4:35 am
    • LOSE WEIGHT SO THEY’RE NOT SO WIDE ?? YOU ARE A DISGUSTING PIG!!!! What you say in your house is one thing, BUT, DON’T INSULT CHILDREN ON A PUBLIC FORUM. That is an attack having nothing to do with the subject and is damaging to a child’s self-esteem.

      Thursday, 14 December 2017, 9:18 am
      • How can you say the size of the people riding the bus has nothing to do With a discussion about overcrowded busing? It’s ok to tell a kid their eating habits are unhealthy. You are part of the problem. Be honest with kids and you may just find out they can handle the truth.

        Thursday, 14 December 2017, 7:22 pm
    • Easy now, those youngsters might be future deputy material……

      Thursday, 14 December 2017, 10:33 am
  • Who’s back ya got there judgy mcjudgyson?

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 5:14 pm
  • Some comments should just be deleted don’t they don’t even make sense at all

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 5:05 pm
  • Since I a a tax payer I say put another bus on the road and make the bus safe. Over crowding will lead to noise distraction, more commotion, and unfortunately bad behaviors. “And think about it next time you want to have another one” ???? Oh I’m sure that is in the forefront of a couples mind. Honey we can, the buses are crowded. REALLY, you gave that statement some thought. lol

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 4:55 pm
  • My issue… NO INFORCEMENT OF SEATBELTS… PLZ EXPLAIN.. I’ve made numerous calls to transportation.. If in family car.. Serious consequences..

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 4:55 pm
  • don’t like overcrowded busses pick them up… overcrowding has been a problem all over the country. Get over it . or maybe think about that next time you want to have another one.

    Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 4:44 pm
    • We pay taxes and our kids should be able to ride a bus safely. A lot of parents work and can’t take time off to drop off or pick up their kids, like my husband and myself. We don’t live off of the government and we take care of our own. There is no reason for the over crowding of HC busses. HCSD has proven over and over again that they care not for our precious gifts from God, our kids.

      Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 4:55 pm
      • You are absolutely right Bionic

        Saturday, 16 December 2017, 11:45 am
    • You are a class act DB

      Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 5:12 pm
    • Amen I like your thought process

      Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 5:17 pm
    • you are an ass for that comment!!

      Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 5:22 pm

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