Bus driver shortage causes concern in Charleston

Kanawha County School buses are still covering all of the routes with about 30 fewer bus drivers than needed. (WCHS/WVAH)

School officials in Kanawha County said they are short 30 bus drivers this school year, which has caused confusion among families as students headed back to class. Some families on the West Side were outraged after hearing the news there were no buses to pick up their kids.

Susan Jackson tells Eyewitness News school officials informed her family that there were no buses available currently to pick her granddaughter up from Stonewall Jackson Middle School. Jackson was told she lives within the state code walking range. West Virginia State Code says if there is a shortage, school officials are not required to provide transportation to students who live within two miles of their school.

"They have to walk," Jackson said. "That's crazy. My granddaughter is 10-years-old. She will not be walking home from school by herself."

Jackson and her daughter are now doing what they can to make sure their sixth grader is either picked up or walks home with a family member. It would be about a 15 minute walk from the school to their home for the girl to make alone.

"We have pedophiles in our area," Jackson said. We have a lot of drugs here. It seems like every time you turn around someone is shooting. That is too far for her to be walking by herself."

Nearby neighbor Tammy Johnson said she has seen many close calls watching students walk home from from school near her house.

"It's very dangerous," Johnson said. "We saw a little boy almost get hit as he was trying to cross over today."

School officials tell Eyewitness News they are currently working on a bus to cover that area. Keep checking Eyewitness News for the latest updates.

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