School Bus Controversy in Jessamine County

By: Denny Trease Email
By: Denny Trease Email

A Jessamine County parent is irate because school officials failed to notify him that his daughter was involved in a non-injury bus accident.

Timothy Barnes claims his five-year-old daughter was more than half an hour late getting home from school Wednesday. And although no parents were notified of any problem, Barnes later learned by making some calls of this own that her bus had been involved in an accident that thankfully resulted in no injuries.

Mr. Barnes told 27 NEWSFIRST, "When one o'clock rolled around and the school bus wasn't here, I called the school for them to call the bus and see where the bus was. After putting me on hold for about ten minutes, they came back and told me that my little girl was in a fender bender on the school bus. I asked why they didn't notify us, and they pretty much blew me off and referred me to the head of transportation for Jessamine County schools. He told me he didn't owe me any explanation and pretty much hung up the phone on me."

The bus was stopped on narrow Windom Lane when a box truck tried to pass it and clipped a side marker light on the bus, and police were called to investigate.

Mr. Barnes thinks he shouldn't have had to ask the school for that information.

He says, "My complaint was that when an accident happens involving any child, no matter if it's minor or serious, a parent should be notified because we don't know what's going on, and they're the only ones that do know what's going on."

Just before 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, Barnes received a call from the superintendent of schools who informed him she was still unaware that a Jessamine County bus had been involved in an accident.

Transportation Director Chris Bellman says the school system currently has no plan in place to notify parents in the event of a non-injury accident. He also denies hanging up on Mr. Barnes.

The bus was able to resume it's normal route Wednesday afternoon.

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  • by ridiculous Location: ky on Aug 23, 2008 at 08:10 PM
    First we should remember the bus was only delayed 30 min. How do you contact every parent in that length of time? I would hope the parents would get an explanation when they call to ask why. The bus drivers are doing their jobs. Accident do happen and fortunatly this was minor. Most definatly I agree someone was over-reacting which in turn only causes more confusion. Being disrespectfull to the many people who look out for your children every day in uncalled for! Give me a break.
  • by Kayte Location: ky on Aug 23, 2008 at 05:10 AM
    To I'm not surprised:, I was not referring to the article it was the video that was with the article, its title made it sound like there was a bus crash somewhere and then it was talking about the article. I to work in the school environment and I do know what goes on in school and on buses,I was only trying to say that it would hard to contact everyone,if parents etc call they should be told what is happening, in an emergency they do need to call whomever or whatever is needed to contact by all means. I just hated to hear again a bus had wrecked and then find it was this. But if a parent or guardian calls I think they should be treated right and told what is happening!
  • by Annoyed on Aug 22, 2008 at 07:29 AM
    I agree with the school system. There were no children at anytime in any danger. Many of you are over-reacting!! And for those of you who won't let your kids ride the bus, I am glad I was your child and I pity your children. Growing up is way more than what parent can or want to teach their children. In order to learn life you have to experience life. I am not saying turn them loose by no means. But over-protecting kids can cause as much harm on the other end of the spectrum. This is a free country, you can raise your kids the way you want and I will raise my kids the way I want.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 21, 2008 at 07:10 PM
    I just always have wondered why people are so quick the media jumps at how bus drivers are not doing their job, yet they never give them any praise for the millions of miles they drive in central ky yearly without a "real" accident such as the one in Pendleton County. I think they should have a plan to notify of all injuries, but this truly was not a wreck. This is a parent out to complain and give the good drivers a bad name. Is their job not hard enough going out in the heat and cold for everyone else's kids without dealing with unreasonable parents like this one? I just wonder if Mr. Barnes would like to drive a bus or if he'd even have the patience to do it.
  • by WALLY Location: STEWART on Aug 21, 2008 at 03:47 PM
    I strongly agree with Mr. Barnes on what he said about Parent(s) being notified when their child(ren) school bus is involved in and accident. No matter if it is a none injury accident. It is the school system responible to notified the parent(s) about the bus when it is run late.
  • by Melissa Location: Nicholasville on Aug 21, 2008 at 07:24 AM
    The kids are safer on the buses than in our cars being transported to school. If the child arrived only 30 minutes late,there would not have been time to contact parents. It would also be difficult to know which kids were on the bus and which parents to contact. There should be a system in place to contact parents by phone IF there were any injuries. Otherwise send written notification or make calls that evening. When my 4 kids have been late getting home or picked up in the morning, I call the bus garage and find out the reason. Why was the news media contacted? This wasn't news in my opinion.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 21, 2008 at 06:36 AM
    my daughter will not ride the bus, and it's for reasons such as this! Anything that goes on with your child at school, daycare or anywhere else should be reported to the parent, now! I completly agree with this man and would be very upset as well.
  • by Nan Location: Lexington on Aug 21, 2008 at 06:13 AM
    Come on, it scraped off a reflecter! In my years of bus riding I was in three fender benders. (Two reflecters and once side mirror ding.) None of them were reported to my parents. Most times people wouldn't even call the police if it were their own car, but the bus drivers were required to, making a very big ado about nothing. Yes of course if there is actual body damage, kids shaken or hurt, yes by all means call. If you're over an hour late, yes by all means call. But come on people.
  • by I am not surprised Location: Jess Co resident on Aug 21, 2008 at 06:09 AM
    Kayte, If you read the story, it states the police were called to investigate. The bus is school/state property and the marker or whatever else that was hit was most likely someone's property as well. Thus, the term "accident" applies here since there was an ACCIDENT report written up. Now, as to the issue at hand, my daughter will start school in this system next year, and I am not looking forward to it. My husband and I had already decided she will NOT ride the buses, prior to this. My parents work in the school system and they don't have many good things to say about it, but I would say that is true about most small town public school systems. If my child were late getting to school or home and I was not informed as to why, I would be LIVID, just as this father was. We have rights as parents to know that our children are being taken care of when they are in the care of school district employees, and the bus garage/superintendent failed this father in that regard.
  • by grumpy on Aug 21, 2008 at 04:45 AM
    souds to me like they need to get a plan in place
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