Crowded bus causes concern with parents

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Some parents of students at Franklin Steam Academy are frustrated with the bus system. Last week during a field trip, some kids were barely on a seat and others were on the floor.

The district says they are addressing it, but a mom whose son was on the bus says the adults involved should be ashamed this happened.
When Lakishma Monroe’s sixth-grader came home and told her about the bus ride to their field trip she didn’t think much of it at first until someone showed her these pictures.

“There were kids sitting on the floor. Kids sitting I think sitting on each other’s laps. I was just a little worry about that,” Lakishma Monroe says.

She said it took her a second to realize what was happening. She could see her son sitting on the edge of the seat and other students are sitting on the floor around him.

In a statement, the district says:

“Unit 4 is aware of the photos circulating on social media and is proactively addressing the matter to ensure the continued safety of students riding school buses on field trips. This appears to have been an isolated occurrence.”

John Lyday, Chief communications Officer- Champaign schools

But some parents are worried this happened even once.

“Only because I’m one of those people who thinks about the worst first and then the best,” Monroe says.

The district goes on to say:

“For middle school field trips, the district standard is three students per seat. On this trip, students chose to sit on the floor rather than sit three to a seat. This should not have occurred. The transportation department is reminding bus drivers that all students must be seated before a school bus proceeds. The principal is reminding field trip chaperones and school staff members of this procedure as well.”

John Lyday, Chief communications Officer- Champaign schools

Monroe says she wishes they would have reached out for help from the parents.

“Maybe the parents could have helped chauffeur the kids around if the bus wasn’t capable of holding all those students,” Monroe explains.”Them saying hey we have a packed bus, can somebody help. I mean easier said than done. but it wouldn’t have hurt to reach out.”

Monroe says she’s at a crossroads because she wants her son to participate in school activities like field trips, but she wants him to be safe.

The rest of the Champaign School District full statement:

“Parents who have concerns about transportation or other issues are encouraged to contact school or district staff directly. The safety of students and staff members remains a high priority for Unit 4.”

John Lyday, Chief communications Officer- Champaign schools

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