Students standing during school bus trips? In DeKalb, it’s true

LaSonya Carter could not believe her eyes.

The school bus, equipped to hold 80 passengers, was standing-room only with students as young as kindergarten. Some sat four to a bench, or on the laps of other students.

“I looked down the aisle and all I could see was kid after kid after kid,” said Carter, of Lithonia, whose daughter rides the bus to Stoneview Elementary School.

Bus drivers in DeKalb County say it’s not unusual for drivers to fill their buses with children on multiple routes, struggling to fit dozens more students on board than there are seats to hold them.

The school district is trying to ease a driver shortage, but Superintendent Steve Green said he was caught off guard by complaints from drivers at a school board meeting Monday.

“This was the first I’d heard” of driver complaints, Green said Tuesday morning. “I as a superintendent value our bus drivers, who take good care of our students. To react this way was inappropriate.”