LAFAYETTE, LA (KADN)- It’s the beginning of the school year in Acadiana and you may notice more kids walking to school, more yellow buses on the road, and more traffic in school zones.
Many parents in Lafayette parish are experiencing issues with getting their kids to and from school. Some are waiting in drop-off and pick-up lines for too long and others say that school buses are way too crowded.
Georgia Gates was upset when she found out from her 15-year-old-son was sitting on the floor on his school bus ride home.
“The first thing he said when he got in my car was ‘Mom, that bus was packed full of kids, and we could barely move.’ He told me it was like a clown car in there,” Gates said.
The mother knows the start of the year isn’t always smooth, but there she doesn’t think there should be a reason why her child’s safety is put in danger.
“There are no seatbelts on the bus already, but he's sitting on a floor. He's just not in a safe spot, no matter what. These kids being packed in like they are, it’s not safe at all and I hate to think about what would happen if there was a car accident,” she said.
Jessica Patin’s son was also on that same bus.
“He was the third person in a seat and everybody on our bus was three to a seat and it even had kids sitting down. He said at every turn, he was falling off the seat,” Patin said.
The mother believes if there were more bus routes, this wouldn’t be an issue.
“I think that these satellite stops are not an effective way to get kids to and from school. If parents had a practical solution, such as the kids getting on a school bus in their neighborhood, then they wouldn't have to line up all along the streets of all these schools blocking traffic,” she said.
Parents, like Briana Fisher, who bring their children to school are also frustrated with the amount of time it takes to pick up and drop off.
“I know they are a lot of parents who don’t want their children riding the bus because of COVID and kids spreading germs, but maybe start dismissal 20 minutes before school ends because it's kind of time-consuming.”
Under Louisiana law, it is prohibited for the number of children to exceed the number of seats available on a school bus.