(Advocate file photo).

Red Deer Catholic students left waiting in Anders when school bus is ‘no show’

Better bus monitoring procedure needed, says parent

A Red Deer father is furious that his two children were left waiting for a school bus that didn’t arrive on Thursday morning.

Cory Litzenberger had left his nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son waiting for the Catholic school district bus at their designated spot in Anders at 8:15 a.m.

Nearly half an hour later, his children returned home, crying. “They were panicking because the bus didn’t come and they thought that maybe I had gone to work already,” said Litzenberger.

He’s racked by the thought — what if he had left the house?

As Litzenberger was driving his kids to school, along with his stranded neighbour’s kid, he saw at least 10 other elementary-aged children along the same bus route still waiting near the curb.

He didn’t have enough room in his vehicle to offer any of them a ride to school.

It was about 8:50 a.m. when Litzenberger dropped off the kids and went into the principal’s office to complain.

He also called the Catholic district’s transportation department, and was told they had a “no show,” but he received no explanation as to why they didn’t let parents know, via the district’s bus app.

Litzenberger said he was so put off by the department’s “laid back” response that he went on social media about the situation.

The Red Deer Catholic Regional School District later put out a statement apologizing for the “miscommunication” on the S-62 bus route.

“Since our Transportation Department was made aware of the situation, the bus was dispatched to complete the route.” A vice-principal also travelled the route to ensure all students were safe and transported to school, and school staff monitored to ensure students arrived safely, stated the release.

Litzenberger stressed that he has no quarrel with the school.

His concern is the Catholic school district appears to have no fail-safe system in place — even though it runs its own school buses — to ensure that each bus is running, as expected, and students are being picked up on time.

“What is their system, that they didn’t even know if a bus has checked in on the route?”


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