School District of Palm Beach County responds to concerns about overcrowding

Parents say buses are too crowded to ride safely

BOCA RATON, Fla. - "It's crazy mayhem on the bus," said Loggers' Run Middle School parent Joanie Castelli.

Several Boca Raton parents, including Castelli's, said there is not enough room on the bus for their children to safely make it to school.

"They're sitting three to a seat, on each other, and sitting on the floor because it's crowded," Castelli explained.

The district's policy said, "Students shall not be permitted to sit in the aisles or in the bus stepwell, or in any way which shall block emergency exits."

Mike Burke is the Chief Operating officer for the School District of Palm Beach County. He said school bus drivers are being reminded of the policy.

Burke said complaints are down 600% this August compared to last August. The district said only 11 buses are overcrowded out of 623.

When asked what letter grade the district would give itself for busing, Burke said he doesn't like letter grades. He gave himself a strong B, but is working toward an A.

The district is working on solutions for the overcrowded buses. Castelli's daughter had issues because two school bus drivers did not show up, but the district said it has enough drivers to safely get all the students to school.

"It's unacceptable," Castelli said.

 

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