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Parents say Western Alamance High School bus late to school for weeks

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- A bus full of students has been late to school for weeks in a row, according to a Western Alamance High School family.

One grandmother says her student's grades are dropping because of it and she wants answers from the district.

A representative for the Alamance-Burlington School System said the western bus zone has been short a bus driver because of an injury. She said a new driver has been hired to start next week.

But the DePolito family says it's taken too long to come up with a solution.

Robin DePolito says the same call has come to her phone for the past 19 school days.

It starts of by saying, "Good morning, this is David Callands, assistant principal at Western High School calling to inform you that your bus will be double routed this morning."

"It's very frustrating," DePolito said.

This phone call came in Thursday morning. It goes on to say, "Pick up times may be 45 minutes to an hour later than the regularly scheduled pick up."

DePolito's grandson is a sophomore at Western Alamance High School. He and the dozens of other students on his bus route have been late to school every day.

DePolito says she asked the school for answers multiple times. They gave her the same answer; that the school district is short a bus driver.

"Your child will not be counted as tardy," the message continues.

DePolito's says the school also promised students' grades won't be marked down, but her grandson's first period math grade has already slipped from a B to a C.

"If he comes out of sophomore year passing this math class, it's not because he has the ability," she said. "It's not because he has the information, it's because the school screwed up with the bus, and they're saying, 'Oh he's going to pass.' That doesn't make any sense."

The district's jobs website shows three openings for bus drivers at Western Alamance alone. If the district can't fill those positions, DePolito says current staff needs to step up.

"You should be riding that bus, driving that bus around," she said. "This is just unacceptable. Somebody needs to fix this."

DePolito says the problem is bigger than just getting a passing grade.

"I just want to be sure that he's getting the best he can, you know," she said. "That's all I ask, and he's not doing that. He's not being able to achieve the best that he can."

The Alamance-Burlington School System representative also told FOX8, "Like most school districts, we are short on drivers and substitutes. We are hosting bus driver trainings each month now to help us find as many drivers as possible."