Parent wants policy for school bus stops

A Red Deer mom wants Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division to develop a policy to ensure young students are not left at city school bus stops if a parent or caregiver is not waiting for them.

A Red Deer mom wants Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division to develop a policy to ensure young students are not left at city school bus stops if a parent or caregiver is not waiting for them.

Tiffany Hughes said she forgot that her son Elijah, six, got out early from school on Monday afternoon so he was in the bitter cold of -28C for about 20 minutes before she arrived.

“I know it’s my responsibility to be there, but sometimes things happen,” Hughes said.

A female stranger saw him standing alone, stopped, got Hughes’ cellphone number from Elijah and called her. At that point, Hughes was only a few minutes away from the bus stop.

She said although Elijah, a St. Patrick’s Community School student, was dressed warmly, his cheeks were almost frost bitten.

Hughes said when she was late twice before in the summer, bus dispatch called her and the driver waited with her son, who was in kindergarten at the time.

“They flagged him for me so if that was to happen again, if the bus were to come early, they would sit and wait and call me to make sure I’m on my way.”

Ken Jaeger, supervisor of support services with the Red Deer Catholic, said some bus drivers will take it upon themselves to call dispatch or the family if no one is at the bus stop to greet the child. But it’s not something the division requires its drivers to do.

“We don’t have a policy or practice of calling if they’re not there,” said Jaeger.

“Parents need to be responsible to either be there to meet their children or have arrangements for them to get in the house or go to neighbours.”

Bruce Buruma, community relations director with Red Deer Public Schools, agreed it is the parents’ responsibility to make alternative arrangements, if necessary, for their children after they are dropped off by the bus.

Jaeger said information wasn’t available on Hughes’ complaint. But on Monday, its bus service ran as well as to be expected. Cold temperatures can slow down buses.

Jaeger said it’s also the responsibility of students and parents to be appropriately dressed for the weather, especially in the rural areas, or bus drivers can refuse to pick up students.

“If they break down, hit the ditch or get stranded, students may have to walk and be exposed to that cold. We don’t want students, when it’s -25C, in a sweatshirt and sneakers. How do we keep that student warm if something happens?”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

GrammaLink-Africa members are participating in the Stride to Turn the Tide campaign until June 30. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer group walking to raise money for African grandmothers

A group of central Albertans will be walking every day until the… Continue reading

Westerner Days could be in line to have patrons in attendance this summer as the province teased reducing COVID-19 capacity limits on outdoor events. File photo by ADVOCATE staff
Province provides hope for attendance at summer events

The province has given a positive update to organizations that hold summer… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Canadian boxer Mandy Bujold poses for a photograph at her boxing club in Toronto on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadian boxer Mandy Bujold ‘heartbroken’ after Olympic qualifier scrapped

Canadian boxer Mandy Bujold ‘heartbroken’ after Olympic qualifier scrapped

Ontario shutdown forces Woodbine harness driver Bob McClure to race in United States

Ontario shutdown forces Woodbine harness driver Bob McClure to race in United States

Downtown Iqaluit, Nunavut, is shown after 2 p.m. sunset on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Nunavut has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 in Iqaluit after 12 new cases were reported overnight. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter
COVID-19 outbreak declared in Iqaluit as infection numbers rise after first case

COVID-19 outbreak declared in Iqaluit as infection numbers rise after first case

Three vials of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are pictured in a new coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccination center at the Velodrome-Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Sohn, pool
Pfizer supply bolstered as Moderna cuts delivery, Ontario turns down Trudeau’s help

Pfizer supply bolstered as Moderna cuts delivery, Ontario turns down Trudeau’s help

Lights on an internet switch are lit up as with users in an office in Ottawa, on February 10, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Analysts say CRTC ruling will help regional carriers with new limits on Big Three

Analysts say CRTC ruling will help regional carriers with new limits on Big Three

In this May 26, 2018, file photo, people listen to Michael Franti perform at the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival in Napa, Calif. Canadian music festival organizers hoped this summer would mark a return to concerts, but as COVID-19 cases rage on many have already dropped off the calendar. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Eric Risberg
Facing the music: Summer concert festival organizers see no path ahead in pandemic

Facing the music: Summer concert festival organizers see no path ahead in pandemic

FILE - Ali Stroker accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical for her performance in "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!" at the 73rd annual Tony Awards in New York on June 9, 2019. Stroker teamed up with middle grade author Stacy Davidowitz for a new children's book "The Chance to Fly," published this week. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Singer with disability shines in Ali Stroker’s new kids book

Singer with disability shines in Ali Stroker’s new kids book

Retired Ohio sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

Retired Ohio sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

Most Read