Ky. school district uses NTI day due to ‘large volume of staff absences’

Around 5:30 Tuesday morning, the district posted on Facebook that Clark County schools were moving to NTI due to a large absence of transportation staff.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:02 AM EDT
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CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Clark Co. Public Schools announced early Tuesday morning that they will be using NTI Day #9.

Around 5:30 Tuesday morning, the district posted on Facebook that Clark County schools were moving to NTI due to a large absence of transportation staff.

Bus drivers, bus monitors, and other transportation staff were then called to a meeting at Robert Campbell Middle School at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. Clark County Superintendent Dr. Molly McComas wanted to meet with them.

Greg Gukeisen, a bus driver, said the meeting addressed concerns drivers had about bus overcrowding and safety.

“Threats that were made towards other drivers from students, and it just had to be addressed,” Gukeisen said.

Another transportation employee told us off camera the meeting stemmed from an incident involving a bus driver and a student. She said the bus driver was punished for having an altercation with the student.

Other employees told us they felt the punishment was unfair and that school administrators did not support them.

Gukeisen said employees were told in the meeting that the incident was under litigation and to not discuss details.

“We got to sit down and talk to the superintendent,” said Gukeisen. “She’s very supportive of us, and I believe that what she told us in there that everything is going to work out for the best.”

We asked if our cameras could go inside the meeting. School staff said they would ask Superintendent McComas. They told us to wait outside and said the superintendent did not want us to speak to staff because she would make a statement after the meeting.

Once the meeting ended, we waited about an hour for the superintendent. We never saw her exit the front door. We called the school district and were told the superintendent was in her office. She told us she had made no promises to speak to the media but said she would release a written statement.

Here is that statement:

We had staff out with illness and other issues. This provides us an opportunity to meet with different groups, including transportation. We have reviewed plans and hope to be in school tomorrow.

Later in the day, Superintendent McComas followed up with WKYT about the meeting with school transportation workers. She told us it was about how bus drivers can feel supported and how school officials can respond more appropriately to situations. She said they talked about student discipline and management of behavior on buses. She said one suggestion was that school officials ride on buses sometimes.

As far as the incident involving the bus driver and student, she said the district does not discuss personnel issues.

McComas said school is back on for Wednesday and she expects transportation staff to show up.

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