First week of school a rocky road for school transportation

One of the many buses in the Dougherty County System from a previous story. / File

From making commercials to handouts, the Dougherty County School System tried to ensure as many kids as possible were present the first day of school, and those steps seem to have paid off.

"We're happy to report from estimates from principals this year, we hope to be up a couple of percentage points from last year," said DCSS Public Information Officer RD Harter.

Day two showed the next hurdle to tackle is the transportation system. Jasmine Rollins says her son, 5-year-old Jemetrious Daniels, did not get off the bus until almost 6 pm Monday night.

"I was concerned not only because he's a special needs student but because it was almost 6 o' clock and the elementary school gets out , they get out of class at 2:30."

Rollins says she tried to get a hold of the bus driver for hours before she was finally told Daniels was taken to the house they lived in two years ago.

Although it's impossible to promise incidents like these will never happen again, Harter says communication, like filling these transportation forms out every year, is key in preventing these problems.

"Communication is the key to success in most of our operations and in transportation even more so."

Harter says they're working to make sure the lines of communication between the bus drivers and school system are clear so when these problems happen, they can calm parent's fears - and Rollins says she understands accidents happen but parents need to speak up for their children.

"They have to be their kid's voice, the kids can't speak for themselves. They have to be their kid's voice."