Edmond Children Swelter In Hot Bus In 108-Degree Heat

Thursday, August 25th 2011, 10:37 pm
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma – Some parents at one metro elementary school are concerned and confused after the school bus dropped off their kids almost an hour late.

They say their children arrived home covered in sweat because they were forced to wait on a parked bus for more than 40 minutes.

This happened between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, the hottest part of the day. Children were on the bus, which has no air-conditioning, when the temperature hit 108 degrees.

Like clockwork, buses arrive at Cross Timbers Elementary the same time each afternoon giving parents a pretty good idea of when their children will arrive home, but Wednesday was a bit different.

"Some kids had trouble apparently," Amy Duffy, Edmond mother of three said.

A transportation mix-up forced kids to wait on a bus in a driveway right next to the school. The kids were not allowed to leave the bus.

Earlier this month, News 9 tested the temperature on Oklahoma City School bus with a thermometer. That day, it was 109 degrees. The temperature on the bus hit 105 while it was moving with the windows down.

8/2/11 Related Story:  News 9 Tests Temperature on OKC School Bus

"This is a dangerous situation with the heat," Duffy said. "They certainly should have got them off the bus into the gym and figured things out, no question."

In retrospect, the school district basically agrees.

"The students were on the bus longer than we would have liked," Susan Parks-Schlepp, Edmond Public Schools Public Information Officer said.

Parks-Schlepp says on Wednesday afternoon more than double the amount of students than originally expected started boarding the bus. That prompted the bus driver to call for a second bus, which mistakenly went to the wrong school. That caused a longer delay. At the same time, parents were left wondering where their kids were.

"[The school] should definitely call," Duffy said.

The district says things could have been better.

"Our number one concern is always the safety of our children, and we sincerely regret that they had to be on this bus any longer," Parks-Schlepp said.

The school sent a letter home to parents on Thursday stating the bus will now make two trips, so the problem will not happen again.

The school district also says it's keeping its transportation policies fluid during this unprecedented summer heat.