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Parents Say Overcrowded School Buses Unsafe, Students Sitting on Each Other’s Laps and Floor

HERNANDO – Overcrowded school buses have some parents worried for their children’s safety but school officials say funding is the problem.

Nicki Highley contacted RNRF on Tuesday, after her son, a student at Central High School, was forced to sit on the school bus floor during the route to and from home.

Highley sent photographs of her son sitting against the emergency exit on bus route 19 and says there are between 3 to 5 students in every seat – some sitting in each other’s laps, and others on the floor.

Highley says she spoke to someone at Hernando County Transportation, who told her “we are trying to fix the problem,” but so far nothing has been done.

Ronnie Kaye says his children ride Central High School’s bus route 12 and claims they also sit 4 to a seat, and in each other’s laps. Kaye says after several attempts to speak with someone with Hernando County Transportation, a supervisor finally called him on Monday and stated that the buses are not overcrowded. According to Kaye, the supervisor said he would check surveillance video to confirm how many students were on the bus. Kaye says when he received a follow up reply from the supervisor, he was told, “The cameras weren’t working on those days.” According to District policy, school bus video cannot be released without a court order.

Kaye believes the overcrowding is unsafe and unhealthy for the students but he also voiced concerns for the drivers who have to deal with students fighting over seats.

We spoke with Hernando County School spokesperson, Karen Jordan, about the one of the overcrowded buses and she said, “…Route 12 holds 84 students and over the course of last week, there were between 65 and 70 students on the bus.” Jordan assured parents that bus rider numbers would stabilize in the next few days and routes would be adjusted to ease the situation. Jordan added that law allows up to 3 students per seat, regardless of age. She also advised that the Hernando County School District has lobbied to increase funding for transportation that would reduce the number of students to 2 per seat. Jordan provide a 2017 Legislation Platform & Priorities document that outlines critical needs within the district – school bus seating is listed as one of critical needs.

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  • My child was on Route 2 and also said that there was two people sitting on the floor due to over crowded buses. And this is for Central School. First day on the bus my children witnessed from their own driver asking for directions to pull out into traffic from the bus attendant. Do to this this almost had a head-on collision and sideswiped. Last your drivers were getting in trouble for repeatedly speeding. I think if a bus driver has to ask his bus attendant if traffic is coming this is a sign that we need to hire new drivers. And the person that’s in charge down there the supervisor he is an a****** who doesn’t care about anybody. I’ve complained time and time again over the way things are handled fights on the bus and is drivers just kidding teen you driving and not stopping the bus to handle the fights. One of the bus drivers had the nerve to confront my daughter last year about her own behavior. replied did you and your mom Turn Me In why would you do that basically. The school actually pulled that driver side and had a talk with her told her she was out of line for confronting the child. I think whoever is in charge down there and he knows who he is he deserves to lose his job. I hope something is done for sure the complaints over and over and over and I’m sure they’re not documented. Because I’ve never met somebody that is as rude as he is. And we’re talking about children if he don’t like the fact of being in charge and doing what’s right for children then he should get out of the big house.

    Sunday, 27 August 2017, 9:52 am
  • Why are people more worried about over crowding then the fact most of these kids are having intercourse on these buses maybe its just my school but when I was on the bus those things were disgusting I drive my car to school and I’m glad but it’s disgusting to know these things still happen and the world is more concerned about over crowding then the real big picture ?

    Friday, 25 August 2017, 5:56 pm
  • There are a few people saying we are just crying like babies complaining about nothing,while i agree complaining over 100 year old statues is stupid and such,i have an idea for anyone that says its no big deal to be hearded into a bus that is at double it capacity in hot sunny florida,heres a chalenge,meet at the bus stop right on gibralter and laredo at 6:15 am squeeze in the bus for the 45 min trip,then meet back at the school at 2 to squeeze back in do this for a week and please dont complain like a baby,also i would like karen jordan to participate in this challenge.mrs.jordan also my middle school student has to walk 2 miles with her 1000lb back pack cause wheels on a bag are not allowed so can you please grab a bag the size and weight these kids are expected to carry and walk 2 miles each way with it for the following week after the bus challenge.put up or shut.dont expect kids to do what you cant do thats all im saying.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:57 pm
    • Let me guess your kid also walks barefoot up hill in the snow in those 2 miles! Teach your kid everything on life is not easy.

      Friday, 25 August 2017, 7:16 am
  • Back when they did away with “courtesy busing” for students closer than 2 miles, they sold a bunch of buses, 25-50 I think. Then when the busing returned a few years later, did they replace all the buses that had been sold? That was pretty short sighted if you ask me, it never occurred to anyone that the busing would return and/or the schools would see growth? I would love to see a report on how much was actually saved by doing away with the busing for a few years. With all the sidewalks built and added costs, I bet we lost money.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 4:41 pm
    • I agree with most of your comment except the return of courtesy busing. My children are still walking two miles to and from school. We have never gotten the choice again since the change. They were in elementary school and had to cross over mariner without a crossing guard the first year. Needless to say, i still drive them to high school.

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:07 pm
  • The system may be broken, I agree with that. However for those parents so concerned with their child’s safety, drive them yourself. Problem solved.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 1:40 pm
    • Ok we will all quit our jobs so we can drive our kids across the county to schools they are zoned for thaks to the retarted zoning now in place and stupid staggered schedules to “save money”and then take them back home great idea your a real geniass.humm wounder why us dummies diddent think of that!so any more bright ideas?

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:09 pm
      • If quitting your job means your kid is safe and get to school on time then yes make a change find a different job you had these children it is absolutely your responsibility to take care of them and make sure they get educated

        Friday, 25 August 2017, 7:21 am
  • They are always looking for qualified bus drivers so maybe if we had some of these people that troll RNRF and bash Tom and everything else going on go out and apply and maybe get a job we can have more school buses on the roads for our kids safety….just saying…quit complaining and bitching and be an active part of our community

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 1:21 pm
    • All the qualified drivers drive in other counties cause they pay so much better and insurance is better I know I left hernando for Pasco fact hernando promises more money and don’t deliver but you school superintendent Romano takes her cut

      Friday, 25 August 2017, 9:14 pm
  • 1st off , as far as iv’e seen /heard the zoning is retarded! makes no (common) sense unless i’m lacking info which is possible, like uh duh to me you should attend the closest school location related to where you live, 2nd, all these deficencies in school budgets all over the dam country has any of us ever asked / demanded to see where ——-THE FREAKIN GOSH DAM LOTTERY MONEY IS REALLY GOING!! W.T.F.?? love those signs over blah blah blah trillions spent on……………………. FREAKIN CORRUPTED PORK! PORK PORK PORK!!! and yes i happened to be married to a Lloooooooooooooooong time teacher and can’t begin to tell ya how much of my $$ yes mine and hers straight outta our pockets! has gone to classroom needs! YES! really where’s the money? otherwise to some other points we have already done the damage and continuing on complete sissification of our young people for generations to come, NO MORE TRADES,= ( no sweat,grit,etc. to make your living) BASIC CURSIVE WRITING,FIX A CAR, HOW’S AN ENGINE WORK?? COMMON SENSE LOST, our future kids will be digitized zombies, most are experts at…………..facebook, x-box, texting, and…………….??? recently had young man tell me how hot it was @ night yes 9:30 @ night, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm coMe work couple days with me johnny boy I’ll show ya hot it is !!! SAD

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 11:08 am
  • Pull their CAFR that’ll really piss you when you realize they’re putting your children in mortal danger to line their wallets. Because they are, 100% of school districts. When they talk to you parents about “funding” and how there isn’t any ask them why that balance sheet they’re showing you doesn’t reflect the investment wealth they’re all lying right to your faces about. It’s ALL in their CAFR people.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 11:01 am
  • Most people don’t know how many fit on a school bus k-5 / 3 to a seat middle School 2-3 if they have room high school 2 to a seat most school bus are made for little kids not big kids . And for the overcrowding I’m not sure on the law’s in other states but we’re I form that bus doesn’t move. If them kids get hurt the drivers should be held accountable . They should be telling thier office they are not moving the bus . At this point all I can say is those bus drivers are fools if they drive a crowed bus . Come you bus drivers pull your heads out of your b??? . It’s your job to make sure those kids get home safe and a girl setting on a boy’s lap is not safe . For you people that crying about overcrowding do something about it but don’t take it out on the bus driver . Stay safe out there my friend

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 9:56 am
    • If you only New what you were talking about if you don’t move the bus your fired if you refuse they get a mechanic to drive and your still fired the drivers are not at fault they dislike it more than you do so get your head out of your butt the drivers have kids to feed also they have no choice drive or starve and be homeless wake up protest about driver pay there is your problem they won’t pay enough to make the job worth it not enough drivers means crowded busses do the math

      Friday, 25 August 2017, 9:07 pm
  • My Sister In Law drove a bus here. Overcrowding should be the least of your worries on bus rides.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:35 am
  • There are Laws that require ALL passengers to be in a seatbelt!! Someone needs to call the Sheriffs office and DCF to report them for CHILD ENDANGERMENT!!! Do you think a class action LAW SUIT could set the” liable gross negligence” needed in a “future law suit involving a student/bus accident?

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6:34 am
    • Karma…You might want to read the statutes and all of them before you appear stupid again… The whole “must use occupant crash systems provided by manufacturers” is vague and inconclusive at best…So please call DCF and the Sheriff..Google is not the answer to life’s inconsistencies

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 10:52 am
      • Really? How about next time you get pulled over you just tell the officer that you don’t have to wear a seat belt because of vague statues. Go back to selling your crack on the corner dumb [email protected]@ !!

        Friday, 25 August 2017, 5:37 am
  • We did walk 2 miles to school, in a group as elementary school students. As with all social media how do any of you know that the kids didn’t just sat on the floor and each other for the pictures? Like everything else you jump on the bandwagon to support something that you see without having any real facts.

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6:26 am
    • Well if you read the article romano said herself there are 82 students on rt 12,look up school bus safe student limits and you will see that thats double manufactures safty limits.42 high school students is the max.plus the picture also shows kids piled on each other.so try to read and comprehend at the same time.

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:18 pm
      • Pardon your ignorance of basic grammar.

        Friday, 25 August 2017, 5:29 pm
      • Yes, I did review the recommended seating on a standard school bus… it’s 72-78 depending on the Chassis for Class C and D.The 43 is for the Class A Chassis bus, often referred to as the “short bus”.

        Friday, 25 August 2017, 5:37 pm
  • The bus issue is a serious situation. I don’t have any school age children but if I did that seating situation would really upset me. The first concern of mine would be, “what about the safety of the kids on the bus”? If there were an emergency I can just see the kids trying to get off the bus. They would be trampled to death if the bus accident didn’t end their lives. The other thing that I would also be concerned about is the kids breathing down one another’s necks. Me, personally, I like to have my “own space” if you know what I mean. The cold and flu Season will be here and I can just see those buses get really empty because if I child gets sick the illness is sure to pass on to many other kids. Then there’s the “nit” situation….ugh…those things just jump from one kids body to the next, making their nests in the kids heads! To the person that commented about the size of the one student….that’s bullying…..knock it off. And, to the person that said the bus drivers should be paid year round, I am sure the Teachers have the option of getting paid just for the School Year or spread their income out over 12 months….do the bus drivers have that same option? If they don’t they need to change that too. I don’t get how this happens, I am sure that during the Summer, if not before, planning is made for the next School year. They have to know the maximum number of kids that are going to be on the buses and how many will get to school by themselves or by Parents. Have the allotted amount of school buses ready to seat two kids to a seat and if that person has other arrangements, then adjust the number of buses needed for a route.

    It’s obvious that someone didn’t do their “homework”!

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6:12 am
  • It says the bus holds 84 students but thats counting 3 to a seat, in highschool and middle school people are bigger its hard to fit 3 to a seat its very tight. My bus 2 years ago was like that too and the taller bigger people especially! people were always having to sit on the floor and then would get intruouble for it ??‍♀️

    Thursday, 24 August 2017, 12:27 am
  • Make sure that Super gets her raise, though!

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 10:22 pm
  • I had to homeschool my som for the last 5 years bc he was mandated to walk 2 mikes down Mariner & NorthCliff to school at the age of 11. Now he has a license & drives himself. I was a working parent & begged to pay for a private transportation for him, no one in the county could help. I would have been thankful of my kid could have gotten a ride to school even if he had to sit on the ground!!!! Homeschooling is always an option if you do not like the bus situation.

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 10:20 pm
  • wow times have changed. I remember we would usually sit 1 to a seat on the bus here usually having empty seats. This county is crowded. Most families had 2 kids max and now I see people with sometimes 7 or 8 kids of their own. Our little sleepy town is turning into a city.

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 9:53 pm
  • Ok how about paying there drivers the proper amount of pay the problem is all surrounding county’s pay there drivers at least $2 an hour more and make arrangements to pay them during summer months so since hernando county uses there driver budget for other purposes other than paying there drivers properly they leave to drive in other county’s shame on your superintendent for promises she couldn’t commit too

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 7:13 pm
    • It is “their”, not “there”, and all in one sentence, too.

      Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 10:18 pm
      • Sorry I’m a bus driver not an English teacher I have a perfect driving record no accidents no I cans spell good nor form perfect sentences but always got my kids to and from safely but left hernando to get better paying driving job in another county
        God bless good luck

        Friday, 25 August 2017, 9:26 pm
  • The one FAT KID in the grey shirt is the problem!!! Make him walk, he could use it!!

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 7:13 pm
    • wow. Congratulations. You’re the problem ??????

      Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 9:01 pm
    • Are you just a dumb**s!!

      Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 10:56 pm
    • Your just a bundle of aren’t you, that’s a child your talking about, you could use some human kindness knocked into you! Karma will get you for judging and being a ignorant person

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 12:27 am
    • YOU,sassy-squatter, are just 1 more reason to hate this county. You are the type of parent I spoke of teaching kids ZERO respect at home. Teaching your kids STUPID GARBAGE!!!!!! DO YOU CALL SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS NAMES TOO??? I bet you do. Crude, rude, disgusting are the nicer names I can say about you.

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:09 am
      • If you hate this Country…I will buy you a ticket to West Africa or Bahrain. You choice one way and a you will renounce your citizenship…I doubt you would have a heavy tax burden for your exodus…Deal???

        Thursday, 24 August 2017, 11:08 am
  • Last year the kids were humping the backs of seats. This year ?? – God help your district. The parents teach them enough stupid garbage at home that they WILL use on buses. STOP POSTURING – YOU HAVE THE MONEY FROM SHERIFF’S OFFICE. QUIT SAVING IT FOR YOUR COMMISSIONER’S PAY RAISES, FENCES AROUND STATUES, ETC. NO WONDER MOST OF THE KIDS DON’T HAVE OR GIVE RESPECT – PARENTS DON’T RESPECT THEM, SCHOOL DISTRICT DOESN’T RESPECT THEM AND ON AND ON.

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 6:42 pm
  • Stop raising students to be wimps. So a grown kid had to sit on the floor. You have a choice to drive your kid to school if you believe there is such a danger. Once the problem is worked out you can put your kid back on the bus.

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 6:29 pm
    • i agree we had the 1.5 mile rule if you lived 1.5 miles from school bus service was available at designated stops. One usually had to walk a bit if you didn’t live close to the designated stop…Again we were not 12 year old diabetics with heart disease weighing in at 200 lbs either….

      Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 8:43 pm
    • Well maybe if i diddent have a job it would be easier to drive my h.s students at 6:30 am all the way to brooksvile ps while springstead is around the corner but they aint zoned for that school,then come home wait to drive my middle school student at 9:15 then go pick up h s at 2 then middle school at 4:15 so how would i work pay my taxes feed my family pay bills and do the school buses job.especialy with rhe retarted zoneing and schedule that they made to save on the buses??we cant all sit home

      Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 9:03 pm
      • My point is kids are growing up soft. Parents should teach their kids that life some time gets uncomfortable. To illustrate how what youre doing now will effect your child later, you say you work, what happens when your company makes changes you don’t like? You have 3 choices, go with the change, get mad and become a bad employee or quit. As a mother with a high school student you pick go with the change because you have responsibilities. Teach the kids that they have responsibilities to learn. Sometime school will have obsticals and your student may be uncomfortable. Of course if you’re happy with your kid earning minimum wage their whole life because they don’t get their way or they fight change, than I’m just wasting my time.

        Thursday, 24 August 2017, 6:00 am
        • I dont raise my kids to be sissys,there is a line the bus is made to hold 42 high school students they have 82 by romanos count,its not like its uncomfortable a little bit they are on that bus for for like 45 mins would you like to squeeze in there for 45 mins.and yes i work if my job made changes that i dont like then ill just change the company i work for.i dont complain about much but a little room to breathe i dont think is alot to ask for,and when there is enough money floating around that millions can be “lost in a account”i think we can fix this problem pretty easily.i mean we now have all that extra cash

          Thursday, 24 August 2017, 8:30 pm
  • When The bus gets into a accident cause the kids are fighting or distracting the driver its hard enough to drive a school bus with kids screaming. And yelling now 3 or 4 to a seat come whats wrong with this county. Maybe they should try sitting 3 or 4 to a seat and oh im sure the a./c. Dont work great with the over crowding this county stinks.

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 6:17 pm
    • Simple fix. Teach you kid how to behave on a bus. The kids are not on the bus for 6 hours. It’s a short trip your child will be ok.

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 7:47 am
  • my kids are on the same bus and said the same thing…they came home saying that the bus is so crowded that kids are sitting on the floor…but what do they expect when the bus is full of kids who should be zoned for Springstead are actually zoned for central!

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 6:17 pm

      Friday, 25 August 2017, 11:23 pm
  • That’s hernando county schools for ya!

    Wednesday, 23 August 2017, 6:13 pm
    • You must be really miserable…

      Thursday, 24 August 2017, 11:38 am

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