NewsContact7

Actions

Parents and students say Douglas County school bus is dangerously overcrowded

Posted: 5:19 PM, Dec 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-14 01:32:03Z
Court docs: School bus driver put sex ad online

Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here .

PARKER, Colo. -- Photos taken inside a Douglas County School District bus show kids squeezing in and sitting on the floor.

A parent reached out to Contact7 because she does not feel like the district is taking action to fix the problem, at least not fast enough for her. Danae Mead says he son has been complaining about his bus being overcrowded but she didn't realize how bad it was until she saw a photo.

"There’s no way if something ever happened to this bus that these kids could get out safely, I mean it was a huge safety concern in my opinion," said Mead.

Her son, Asher, said he's had no choice but to sit on the floor at times because the bus is so crowded.

“We kind of just slide around with the bus when it moves," said Asher Mead, an 11th grader at Legend High School.

Contact7 reached out to the Douglas County School District to ask if there's a problem with overcrowding on school buses. A spokesperson said the district has heard complaints from a parent and they're looking into it. She went on to explain that drivers are not supposed to leave if a bus is over capacity and they need to call for a relief bus.

"I want people aware of it because these are our kids, these are our babies and I don’t want them in any danger. I totally understand the bus driver shortage that is out there, I understand they’re trying to work on it but something has to be done in the meantime," said Mead.

Mead says she is not the only one complaining. She has talked with other parents and showed them the pictures, too.

"We don’t want to sit on top of each other but the bus driver has, a few times, tried to get us to sit on top of others and try to get us to fit, and we tell him we can’t so we have to pretend we’re sitting down until he does," said student Megan DeWeese.

An October email from the district describes a "serious shortage of bus drivers." The email states the district has more than 50 vacant bus driver positions due to a national shortage and lack of competitive salaries.

The district's spokesperson says with the passage of a recent mill levy they will be able to offer a more competitive wage.