Aug 11, 2010 7:13 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Parents Worried About Their Children's Safety on the Bus

The start of the school year, has some parents in St. Martinville concerned for their children's safety. A few parents filed complaints about the same St. Martin Parish school bus driver last year. This year the driver is back on the route and they say they're not happy about it.

They approached the school board this past week, only to find out nothing could be done. Concerned mother, Aprinelle Baptiste, said "my kids are afraid of her and afraid to ride the bus."

Both Aprinelle Baptiste and Sharon Alexander have children who ride Bus 264 to St. Martin schools everyday. They have different complaints about the same bus driver.

"Multiple parents have asked her to slow the bus down and drive at the speed limit," Baptiste explained. "She has told the children--I'm the bus driver, I can drive how I want."

Alexander said, "She came down the road. She turned around, and she left my children. I was standing at the door looking out the door."

She said she has four children who ride the school bus and she can't afford to have the bus driver behind.

St. Martin School Board Superintendent, Richard Lavergne, said "we designate areas to pick up students and those students are supposed to be in those designated areas."

Lavergne said three cameras have been placed in every single bus since those complaints. There are two in the front and then one in the back to monitor the children as well as the bus driver.

"These cameras should clearly show what is going on in these buses," Lavergne said.

He said after the tapes of the bus were reviewed "the bus driver did nothing wrong."

The school board asked the bus driver if she would change routes, but she refused. Parents say their complaint is just one of dozens against the driver. They added, the driver's route was changed two years ago because of similar complaint.


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