Concerned parent seeks answers about Lafayette Parish school bus tardiness and lack of notification

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) A local parent wants the Lafayette Parish School Transportation Department to notify her when her child’s school bus will be late.

Amanda Martin, of Lafayette says her request is simple.

“My daughters first day of school and she’s coming home on the bus.  Usually when she gets on the bus we text such as ‘how was your first day at school?” 

She continues, “I’m usually excited to hear the news but I’m getting no response.  I finally call her.  She then text messages me back at 5:00 p.m. to tell me the bus is not there to pick them up,” Martin explained.

Martin’s concern is that the message should come from the person she’s trusting to transport her 13-year-old.

If a schedule doesn’t pan-out, then Martin wants to know about it.

“Based on the phone calls that I have made, I’m asking the Transportation Department to take ownership of letting people know,” Martin stated.

Martin says parents have a contact list for bus drivers but to make the call terrifies her.

“I don’t want a bus driver on their cell phone calling me with a bus full of elementary school kids and telling me they’re not going to make it to the middle school kids for a while.  I don’t think any of us want bus drivers on their cell phones,” Martin noted.

Martin has a recommendation about leveraging technology.

“I’m not sure they have the resources from the city to leverage technology or use GPS tracking systems; technology that has automated text messaging systems that will text a message to you,” Martin said.

Martin explains she’s a working single parent and values time with her child. 

If her child doesn’t get picked up until 5:00 p.m. and she was dropped of at 8:00 a.m., for Martin that’s a lot of time gone by.

“I really value that time.  Having an efficient transportation system keeps my child safe but it also gets her back to me and I like her,” Martin laughs.

About 3 years ago, LPSS unveiled a messaging system notifying parents of cancelled transportation plans.

Back then, LPSS said the parent must be sure to have an update cell number in the system for it to work.

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