Western Heights Cancels After School Activities Due To Bus Driver Staffing


Wednesday, October 16th 2019, 11:50 am
By: Ashley Holden


The Western Heights School District is working on a plan to deal with busing and transportation issues.

Parents spoke with News 9 on Tuesday and said all after school activities were canceled because the district didn't have enough bus drivers to get students home.

The superintendent did confirm they had to cancel those activities because of transportation issues, and now he's asking for parents to be patient.

Superintendent Mannix Barnes told News 9 on Tuesday seven bus drivers called in sick and it created the transportation problem.  

"Due to the socioeconomic conditions of our district, we provide transportation to all of our students involved in after school activities," Barnes told News 9 in an email. "It was unfortunate we had to cancel after school activities, but we had to make quick decisions to ensure our students were safely transported home today. For any district, it's impossible to prepare for these types of situations, but we are grateful for those drivers who did show up for work to assist our kids. We are asking parents to be patient and we are currently putting together a plan moving forward that will address all issues."

News 9 also asked the superintendent about reports that 15 employees resigned at a school board meeting Monday.

He said they typically take these resignations for various months all at once, and only one of the people that resigned was a bus driver.

"The Western Heights Board of Education always accepts the resignations from employees at the conclusion of their monthly meetings," Barnes said in another email. "This meeting was no different and was actually a normal meeting. Fifteen employees did not resign at the conclusion of the meeting. They had submitted their resignations in advance and many were carryovers from August and September."

He said at meetings in the past, they accepted as many as close to 40.

Employees told News 9 they weren't paid on time. Some contacted the station to say they have since been paid.

Barnes's only comment about paychecks was "Monday was a banking holiday."

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