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School District in Monroe County Closed Due to Bus Driver Shortage

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. -- Some schools in Monroe County are closed Thursday, Dec. 12, because of a bus driver shortage.

Officials with the Pocono Mountain School District say the district is forced to close because too many drivers called out.

This is the second day the district had to close because of bus issues.

"I was halfway ready this morning when they like canceled school and I didn't even check the website or anything. I just saw it on Snapchat. People were posting about how school was canceled because there were no people to take us to school," said Destiny Feliciano, a student at Pocono Mountain West.

This is the latest in a series of issues involving transportation in the district.

Last spring, some parents were against the school board's decision to outsource transportation services to a third-party bus company.

That is something the union representing the drivers continues to fight.

This fall, parents and students complained about what they called unsafe bus conditions.

"In Pocono Farms, like the bus is filled already and then there was one day when my bus driver didn't show up and we had to like double our bus, so we had to sit like three to a seat and it was like ridiculous , and we're late to school or buses don't show up, or at the end of the day half the lot is empty, no one to take some kids home," said student Kiara Harley of Tobyhanna Township.

Bus drivers and other district support staff have gone without a new contract since July and while some think the past two days were a planned "sick out" by bus drivers, union officials said it was not an organized protest.

"We have to put ourselves in their positions. If we were school bus drivers, and we're not getting what we need to make a good living, we need to put ourselves on their sides, too, so I think the community needs to get together and see both sides of the issue," said Yvette Ortiz of Coolbaugh Township.

Cathy Lyon drives a bus but not for the Pocono Mountain School District.

"I think it's very sad for the kids, I think it's sad for the bus drivers because that takes away from their livelihood," said Lyon.

17 comments

  • lolab01

    I stand with the bus drivers…I do understand that our kids need to get to school and get the education that they need but honestly I don’t feel that they are getting the best education that they can possibly get…There is a lot that I don’t agree with as far as the education protocols…I have also come to learn that the officials of the PMSD like to hide things from parents and tell the parents what they want to hear…unless you have ever driven a bus you shouldn’t be blaming the bus drivers…you don’t understand just how hard their job really is…some think it is as easy as making a few stops to pick up kids and drop them off at school…well NO it’s not that simple…when you put your kids on that bus you are putting their lives in the hands of the bus driver…and it is the bus drivers responsibility to transport your children safely to and from school…some of them have to do this under extremely difficult conditions because some of the kids act like animals while the bus driver is trying to drive…and not only is it their job to transport your kids safely they also have to try and maintain some kind of orderly behavior on the bus so your kids don’t get hurt, picked on, harassed, or worse…I stand behind the bus driver and they should take a stand! They need to be respected and get what they deserve for the job that they do! I am not a school official, I am not any part of the bus drivers, I am a parent with 2 kids in the PMSD but I owned and operated a school bus company in NYC a few years back for over 20 years and I was also a certified bus driver so I know what goes into being a bus driver and how important it is for the drivers to get what they deserve and to know that they have job security!!

  • Mopar Driver (@RustyMopars)

    Lose the union , amazing that these lowlifes would orchestrate a school shutdown to shakedown the school district (taxpayers) for money . Go back to running your own busses and do a surprise drug test that should weed out the trouble makers – previous comment deleted by them .

    • Warren Searfoss

      you freaking moron….. if it wasn’t for unions, you would still be making slave wages and working under unsafe conditions….. Unions got safety regulations installed and force employers to pay better wages….do a little research before you open your cesspool of a mouth

      • yabbadabbadude

        Hey bright-boy, we’re talking about PUBLIC SECTOR unions here, not PRIVATE SECTOR unions! The taxpayers are paying their wages, not some company! We’re paying for necessities such as schools, police, and fire services, and they should continue uninterrupted no matter what! Even the First Socialist Emperor of the U.S., FDR, thought that they should never be allowed to have unions because if they strike we all suffer the consequences…so what did JFK do? He gave them the right to form unions and strike via an E.O.! The voters would never have gone for that! Nearly every problem we have in America can be traced back to democrat policies. If anybody needs to do some research it’s you, instead of proving that being an idiot is far above your pay grade.

  • yabbadabbadude

    I was born and raised in this area and I know for a fact that you either need to be, know, be related to, or pay a democrat to be employed by ANY school district from the superintendent right down to the janitor INCLUDING the bus drivers.

    Fun Fact – Did you know that America used to have the #1 education system in the world? Then came Jimmy Carter’s Department Of Education in 1979 at the behest of the Teachers’ Unions. Now we’re 45th. Democrats ruin everything they touch.

    • chaz918

      Absolutely. It’s the biggest “open secret” in the area. Why do you think there are so many teacher strikes? The cost of the kickback keeps going up just like everything else.

      • yabbadabbadude

        It was like that well before the Carter years too…all dems – even the School Boards. Then came Gov. Schafer (RINO) in 1970 to pass Act 195 and give them the right to strike. It was a recipe for disaster for everyone that owned a home or property in Pa. and it still is to this day.

  • peach671

    Cyber/home school these students, therefore, eliminating the need for transportation, miscellaneous overhead, teachers/administrative salaries and fringe benefits. School taxes would be minimized. There, problem solved.

  • Rusty Knyffe

    Oh, apparently, someone’s widdoo feeweenz gut huwt…………………ROTFLMAO!!!!!
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    “Back in the day,” a bus driver was someone that was held with respect by the “precious cargo” that they transported. If the “precious cargo” acted out, the driver was confident in pulling the bus over and jerking a knot in the “precious cargo,” or writing up the kid for punishment, at the very least. Today? Oh, no…..the “precious cargo” is calling the shots with parents that are ignorant, blind, and the “besties” of the offspring, rather than guides and leaders to TEACH those little animals what is expected of them. Nope, nope, and NOPE. There isn’t enough money that would ever make me even contemplate driving a busload of “precious cargo.”

  • realparent1

    This is ridiculous. Everyone who called in sick should be fired. Plain and simple. Outsource away! Bring in professional drivers and get our kids back in school.

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