ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Some students in the Hazelwood School District are being picked up late by as much as 30 minutes and others are not being picked up at all. One parent got so frustrated, she called KPLR 11 looking for help.
Heather Ball says she told Granneman Elementary School that if her kids continued to be picked up late she would call KPLR 11. On Monday, the bus did not show up again to pick up Ball's children.
“We got no phone call, email, nothing. They just didn’t show up. The bus was supposed to be there at 8:05 a.m. and at 8:38 a.m. I got a call from a neighbor saying his kids were still at the stop and he was going to take kids to school.”
It's not just what happened Monday. Ball says the Hazelwood buses, which are operated by First Student, are late every day.
“They’re at least late everyday single day. If not a couple of minutes, then late by 30 minutes. They're emails stating that they are running 25 minutes late and that they will come back and pick up our students.”
Heather showed me countless numbers she called Monday morning looking for answers. She says she left messages and never received a callback. KPLR 11 called and left messages at the same numbers and didn’t hear back from the Hazelwood Communications Director until after 2:00pm.
The indicated that they had just got our messages and would investigate and get back to KPLR 11.
Ball says her kids are frustrated.
"How do they feel about this every day? They don’t want to go to school, don’t want to wait for a bus. They say 'it’s not going to come on time why are you rushing us.' It’s like this every day.”
Ball has called the school several times this year but nothing has changed because the school gives her the same number to call every time.
KPLR 11 went to the district's offices for answers and was asked to leave the school property.
We received a statement from the district late this afternoon, it reads:
Recently, we celebrated during a cold snap that all of our students were picked up from bus stops in a timely manner. This was not the case this morning. Unfortunately, this time communications was not as it should have been. That, coupled with a driver shortage due to the flu season resulted in today's situation. For this, we apologize to our students and families, and we understand that this is unacceptable.