Parents react to possible school bus driver absences in Cumberland County

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Cumberland County School district is encouraging parents to find alternative transportation for children in light of potential delays or route changes on Tuesday.

“As we continue to work diligently to resolve the underlying issue contributing to this driver shortage, we also want to ensure that families have time to prepare prior to next Tuesday,” school officials said in a statement.

The district has not said which routes may be affected and parents may only learn that as late as Tuesday morning.

Still, parents are making plans now.

“We were a little surprised but not terribly,” one parent, whose son rides the bus, said. “We are just going to pick him up on Tuesday or get a ride home with a friend.”

While the district has not said why some drivers are planning to stay home, it follows similar absences for multiple days in the Wake County Public School System this past week as drivers protested low pay and working conditions.

Parent Sherry Lahr said she wouldn’t be surprised if the same happens in Cumberland county.

“Make plans,” Lahr said. “I know it’s going to be very disruptive to a lot of families.”

Her daughter, Sophia Lahr said while she always rides with family to school, she doesn’t want to see any more stress put on fellow students who’ve already missed out on school days during the pandemic.

“I totally understand the reasoning it’s definitely fair but there’s been a lot of interruptions with school already and some parents just can’t get the time in the morning to take the kids to school,” Sophia Lahr said.

On average, 26,000 students ride more than 460 buses in Cumberland County every day.

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