Student arrives home hours late on first day

Published 11:09 am Tuesday, August 27, 2019

After transporting more than 4,200 students during the first day of school, there were some noticeable mistakes in the afternoon.

Though each bus is equipped with GPS, a bus stop discrepancy for a Badin Elementary student resulted in the student being sent back to the school while a Stanfield Elementary student got home three hours late.

A Stanfield third-grade student, who is the granddaughter of County Commissioner Lane Furr, got on the bus around 4:15 p.m. and was dropped at the wrong location at around 7:20 p.m.

Furr and his family called the school 15 times to try and figure out where the bus was. School representatives kept telling him the bus was only a few minutes away, he said.

His granddaughter was supposed to be dropped off at his house, but instead she was dropped off at her mother’s house, where no one was home.

When Furr’s daughter arrived at her house, he said his granddaughter had been crying.

“The biggest thing that…made me the most aggravated was not getting a straight answer,” Furr said.

If the school had told him where the bus was, he said he would have picked his granddaughter up himself.

Furr wrote that the afternoon was a “NIGHTMARE” on Facebook.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff James said he was on the phone with both families, including Furr, and plans to meet with the Stanfield student Tuesday to personally apologize.

“We screwed up, bottom line,” James said about the two incidents. “I was very upset. I probably didn’t get to bed until about 1 a.m.”

Though there were less than 10 issues for the first day that he was aware of, James understands some families are still not happy.

“For those few people that we messed up on, all I can say is, for them, it was a horrible day,” James said. “And I can’t blame them.”

James has asked principals to place monitors on as many buses as possible, especially for drivers who are still learning routes, for the rest of the week to make sure things run more smoothly.

The transportation team also had a meeting Tuesday morning to reassess what happened Monday, James said.

“I’ve never been in any district that there weren’t snafus,” James said.

James said he expects the bus issues to be sorted out by the end of the week.

“Our goal is to make sure that we’re doing the best for our kids,” James said.

Any parents wishing to contact James can call the central office at 704-961-3000.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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