Protesters rally as Guilford County Schools directs students to use city buses amid bus driver shortage

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A small group of protesters rallied against Guilford County Schools’ recent decision to have students take city buses to school as opposed to traditional school buses.

The change is set to go into effect on Monday and continue for at least two weeks. The decision was prompted by a bus driver shortage, which only worsened as cases of COVID-19’s omicron variant began to spike.

On Friday, GCS Superintendent Sharon Contreras said that the school district had worked out the arrangement with Greensboro Transit and High Point Transit to provide free service to those students.

High school students in the Greensboro and High Point areas will use city buses for at least two weeks. For high school students in the county where there are no city buses, yellow buses will continue to pick up and drop off students. Yellow buses will also continue to pick up elementary and middle school students.

Contreras said parents will receive information about how to access bus routes, and she encouraged any parents who could to drive their children to school to so.

About 10 parents, grandparents, a teacher and community members gathered out front of the Guilford County Schools’ central office. They say that they are upset and concerned about the emergency change.

These protesters expressed possible safety concerns with students sitting on the bus with other adult riders, students getting dropped off during dark hours and COVID-19. Also, while drivers are required to stop for school buses, they are not legally required to stop for city buses

They also expressed some logistical concerns, such as ensuring students successfully transfer from one bus line to another and a possible increase in tardiness and absences.

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