Flu outbreak blamed for making Bartlett school bus crowded

Students sitting 3 to a seat, standing/sitting in the aisles (Source: Viewer)
Students sitting 3 to a seat, standing/sitting in the aisles (Source: Viewer)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A flu outbreak is being blamed for pictures that show students sitting three to a seat and even sitting in the floor of an overcrowded school bus.

Durham School Services, the company that runs buses for the school district, said several bus drivers called out of work with flu-like symptoms. That forced one bus to take on two routes, making the bus more full than usual.

However, Durham School Services said the bus never exceeded capacity.

Pictures taken inside the bus shows students crammed together. Parents said they were told students were sitting three to a seat, and some students even had to sit or stand in the aisle.

"It's not safe, and as a parent, that's what you want," parent Amanda Arle said.

The bus in question was taking students to and from Bon Lin Middle School on Monday.

Bartlett City Schools released the following statement Thursday:

We do have a school bus route 30823 that services Bon Lin Middle School. We have been meeting with Durham School Services regularly, even as recent as yesterday, to address these concerns. Our shared services team in Collierville has addressed these recent issues with Durham. Our expectation is that Durham is to provide safe and adequate services to our schools and we will continue to hold them to those standards.

"If they're just overcrowded. I would just rather pick them up," parent Reggie Robson said.

Parents said they were not told about the flu outbreak or the school's solution to consolidate two bus routes to one bus.

"I think there needs to be a bigger line of communication between the buses and the school district," Arle said.

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