Questions remain for SCS charter bus protocol

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Questions still remain about how a chartered bus that was operating without a permit was allowed to carry Central High School students.

The charter bus from the company Jefferson Travel and Tours Inc. caught fire Tuesday while traveling southbound on I-55 to a basketball game.

"Someone's not doing their job, yeah, someone's not doing their job," one parent said.

"There should be some kind of repercussions for the school board or administrators that allowed that to happen because it shouldn't have happened," another parent said outside Central High School Friday.

Wednesday, WREG broke the news to Shelby County Schools about Jefferson Travel and Tours failing to have proper federal or city permits.

"We do appreciate when you guys bring this to our attention," Reginald Porter, chief of staff for the school district, said.

The district admitted it failed to do the proper background checks for more than 30 charter bus companies that transport SCS students.

However, the district did suspend working with all charter companies until safety background checks are done.

They also said they're re-evaluating the application process for future vendors, since there isn't a policy right now.

Thursday, Porter said Jefferson Travel and Tours was on an approved list from legacy Memphis City Schools, and charter companies weren't re-screened earlier this school year after a series of crashes and arrests involving Durham Bus Services.

Parents hope the school district will get a new protocol in place.

"This is a lot that has been happening unfortunately but we're taking notice, so it's a good thing, I think something good is going to come out of this," one parent said.

The cause of the fire has not been released.

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