HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – Week one is done for Horry County Schools and as we start week two, parents have concerns about the school buses in the area.
The first day of school normally comes with some hiccups, but parents are concerned about how the school buses have been run so far this year, especially when it comes to dropping off their little ones.
Kaila Martinelli was concerned when her six-year-old was put on a bus they were not supposed to get on.
“I went to River Adventure to pick my children up,” Matinelli said. “When I got inside, my 10-year-old ran up to me and he was like Christiano went on the bus. And I’m like, what do you mean he went on the bus?”
Her son was supposed to stay at River Oaks Elementary School for an after-school program. Instead, a teacher put him on a school bus. She posted her story on Facebook where more than 100 people shared similar stories of school bus confusion.
News13 reached out to the district and a spokesperson said in part quote, “While I cannot research and verify every concern or issue that is posted on social media, I would recommend parents reach out to school administrators.”
Martinelli was not the only parent with a negative experience.
Sarah Clevenger, a Horry County Schools parent said she had an issue when she switched her son from a bus rider to a car rider for the day.
“Monday morning I had called the school to let them know that my son was going to be a car rider in the afternoon,” Clevenger said. “ Well, I go up to the school looking for my son. My son is nowhere to be found. And I start freaking out like, ‘where is my son? Where is my son?’ And they tell me that he got on the bus. I said, ‘what do you mean he got on the bus?”
Erin Herring, another Horry County Schools parent explained another negative experience.
“They were 40 minutes late coming home from primary school at Myrtle Beach,” Herring said. “And our middle schooler was actually two and a half hours late.”
The district said a statewide software issue with its school bus routing system is what caused the problems and delays this past week. However, parents said these problems have been going on for years and something needs to be done.
“If y’all knew that there was a new bus system,” said Sarah Clevenger, a Horry County Schools Parent. “Why wasn’t this everything done correctly before school even started?”
Kaila Martinelli, a Horry County Schools Parent said the district needs to hire more help.
“They need to increase the pay of not just bus drivers,” she said. “They need to increase the pay of the teachers and the administrators.”
Erin Herring, a Horry County Schools Parent said an aide on the bus would be nice.
“They almost truthfully need an aide on every bus,” Herring said. “Especially with the younger kids. I know it’s the first couple days and I know that people are human, and mistakes happen, but it’s beyond the fact of people are human and mistakes happen.”
Horry County Schools said they are optimistic the statewide software issue with the bus routing system has been resolved and they are expecting to see significant improvement.
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Taylor Maresca is the weekend morning anchor and morning reporter at News13. She joined the team in June 2022 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Taylor is from Houston. Follow Taylor on Twitter and read more of her work here.