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Jamestown Middle students wait an hour for tardy bus, parents never get notification

JAMESTOWN, N.C. -- Angela Gooding was running a little late to work Monday, but then she saw something that really threw off her morning: a text from her son who was still at the bus stop.

"Really really frustrating to see him standing there for an hour, plus when he should have been at school,” Gooding said.

Gooding says the bus usually comes to pick up her son, a student at Jamestown Middle School, just after 7:30 a.m. She decided to drive her son herself at 8:30 a.m. seeing no bus in sight.

"It's been an ongoing issue,” Gooding said.

The bigger issue at play is the fact that Gooding and other parents weren’t notified by the school district the bus was going to be late.

"No one let us know,” parent Britany Galloway said. "So if I had already gone to work, and I wasn't here, my child would have just been left at the bus stop."

FOX8 reached out to Guilford County Schools. A spokesperson says the bus driver for that route called in sick Monday morning and they did not have a substitute available. This is part of an overarching problem statewide, seeing a shortage of bus drivers. Guilford County wants to see 27 more full-time positions filled and 50 more substitute drivers.

For this bus route in Jamestown, another driver had to complete their route, drop the kids off at the middle school, and then pick up the route including Gooding and Galloway’s kids.

"Really look at this seriously and not give parents the runaround,” Gooding said. "We need answers, and we need answers now because this is our children we're talking about."

The school system says it’s working to streamline communication. Currently if a bus is expected to be late, the transportation department notifies the school, which is in charge of notifying parents. In this case, the school didn’t have an exact list of the roughly 60 students impacted by the dropped route, according to a GCS spokesperson. That spokesperson says the transportation department and Jamestown Middle are working on compiling a list of every bus route to prevent this communication breakdown from happening again here.

"At least have that system set up so we can know exactly what to do,” Galloway said.