Some parents not on board with JPS bus policy

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Kindergartners are not the only ones in Jonesboro Public Schools trying to get acclimated to a new school year.

Their parents are, too.

The district requires all kindergarten students to have a parent or guardian present to drop them off and pick them up from the bus stop. If the student does not have a parent there, the bus driver takes them back to the Kindergarten Center. 

Not all parents are completely on board with the rule. Amie Zetlmaier is a mother of six, including a kindergartner. Her kids are in four different schools.

"It was really hard to get them all there on time and pick them all up on time so it's really nice that the school is able to get that bus service," Zetlmaier said.

But what is not so convenient is having to be at the bus stop for both pick up and drop off. 

"I wish they would let them off with their older siblings, the high schoolers or something," Zetlmaier said. "They can't do that but it would make it a lot simpler." 

Zetlmaier is currently a stay at home mom so she said the rule is easier for her to follow. However, she said that is not the case for others.

"Single parents or people that don't have two people in the home, it would be difficult for them to do that," Zetlmaier said. 

However, she said she understands why the district does it.

"You don't want them just dropped off to anybody," Zetlmaier said. 

"We want everyone to have a safe and quick ride home," said JPS Transportation Director Mickey Long. "Those kindergartners are young enough that we need to give them just a little extra attention and make sure they get to and from as safe as possible."

Long said every bus driver knows who is on their bus and who is picking their passengers up. He said sometimes things come up so information and communication are key. 

"You never know when the parent's not going to be there and we need to get them on the phone," Long said. "Radios on every bus and our office is manned every day while these buses are on the streets."

Long said he understands it is difficult for some parents to be there on time so the bus drivers try to work with them. 

"A lot of times we can help with 20 or 30 minutes here or there, depending on when we pick up and how we run our route to maybe give that parent just a little more time to get home," Long said. 

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.