KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WNCN) – Some Wake County parents say on Thursday morning their children’s school bus stop was changed and they didn’t know about it.
Parents say they dropped their kids off at their regular bus stop, which was at Hodge Road Elementary, but they say their kids were dropped off here at the Planter’s Walk Recreation Center after school. Students were given a letter by their bus drivers the morning of.
Parents say that’s not enough notice
Skye Creech says he was in a work meeting Thursday when his phone rang.
“It was my son,” said Creech. “I said, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ and he said, ‘We’re not going to the same stop. We’re going to Planters Walk.’ I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘I don’t know. Somebody just said that’s the new route.’”
Creech drives his son, an 8th grader, to school every morning. His son takes the bus home.
“There was a lot of mass confusion,” said Creech. “I never got a text, a phone call, an email, a letter, nothing letting us know that there was a change. Had my son not been able to borrow a stranger’s phone and call me, I would’ve never been able to get in touch with him.”
Nicole McIntyre says her son, a 7th grader, was dropped off at the new stop. He called her saying he didn’t know where he was.
“Very disappointed,” McIntyre said. “They have so many resources to connect with parents they typically use for announcements. This was something that was very important it needed to be an alert.”
The original bus stop was at Hodge Road Elementary School and the new location is at the Planter’s Walk Recreation Center.
We wanted to see just exactly how far it is from the new bus stop to the old bus stop. We set the car’s trip odometer to zero and we drove the route. According to the odometer, the new bus stop is 1.7 miles away from the old bus stop.
CBS North Carolina took these concerns to the Wake County School District for answers.
Wake County Public Information Officer Lisa Luten says the reason the bus stop was changed was because the dismissal time for Hodge Road Elementary coincided with the time the bus comes.
She says some of the parents that were coming to pick their kids up were blocking the car pool lane and creating a safety hazard.
She says when a bus stop is changed, the bus stops at both the original and new stop for that first week. She says they checked the bus’ GPS. According to Luten, the bus stopped at the original stop, then the new stop. Parents and students say that’s not what happened.
CBS North Carolina asked Dimitri McIntyre, Nicole McIntyre’s son, if the bus stopped at Hodge Road Elementary first.
“No. it stopped here at Planter’s Walk and my mom did not realize. So, she got mad.”
“Somebody dropped the ball,” said Creech. “It is absolutely a shame that they tried to roll this out.”
Parents say they’d like an apology from the school and are hoping for better communication in the future.
The President of the Planter’s Walk Home Owner’s Association told CBS North Carolina the group was not notified by the school about the bus stop moving near its recreation center. He said residents were upset to see parents parked in the parking lot, and they won’t be allowed to park there in the future.