Parents in one neighborhood fed up with late school buses

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Parents in one Oakhaven neighborhood want answers. They say their kids are constantly late to school – and they blame the bus drivers.

Parents tell WREG one specific bus is regularly either late or never even shows up at all, and they’ve had to take it upon themselves to get the kids to school.

"I think it’s crazy," said mom Tuere Dubone.

She is just one of several parents and grandparents on Aquarius Avenue who say they're fed up.

"I work, I’m a single parent, and it’s very inconvenient when the bus don’t come," she said.

Parents say the bus drivers who take their little ones to Ross Elementary School often pick up and drop off their kids an hour or two behind schedule.

"They’re supposed to drop them off at 4:45 and it be sometimes 5:30, quarter to six," said one grandmother, who wanted to remain anonymous. "In the morning time, it’s been as late as 10:30."

Parents say the bus is supposed to pick the kids up at 8:20 a.m., but for the past month off and on, that hasn’t been happening.

When WREG showed up to talk to concerned parents around 9:15 a.m. Thursday, the bus was just arriving – nearly an hour late.

"I just think it’s ridiculous," Dubone said. "They need to do something about it."

Several parents say they’ve called Durham School Services, which owns and operates the buses, repeatedly, but the problem continues.

"They kept saying, 'We’re on the way. We’re sending a bus. They’re on the way,'" Dubone said.

One grandparent says she drove the neighborhood kids to school herself Wednesday when it became clear the bus wasn’t coming at all.

"We sit out here until about 10:15 waiting on the bus to pick the kids up. The bus never showed up," she said.

Dubone's 5-year-old son was one of those kids.

"Without her, I don’t know how my son would have got to school," she said.

They say they’re worried about their children and grandchildren missing breakfast at school, missing important tests and assignments and falling behind in class.

"How can they learn what they need to get if they are an hour or two hours late every day attending school? I don’t think that’s fair to our babies," one grandmother told WREG.

A representative for Durham responded, saying the company is aware of the matters and apologizing to parents for the inconvenience.

"We have placed a new driver, who is more familiar with the area, on the route starting this afternoon. With the new driver, we expect an improvement in the timeliness of pick up and drop offs," the company said.

SCS had not responded Thursday afternoon.