Sumner County mom concerned for children's safety with school bus driver
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A Sumner County mother is calling for accountability from the school district due to a bus driver she says is disregarding the safety of children.
With three children at three different schools in Sumner County, Andrea Bessling says they had never had issues with school bus drivers or concerns about her children's safety.
That all changed after the family moved to the new Durham Farms subdivision. Although they didn't move far from their previous home, a new driver was assigned to their area.
Since the move, Bessling says two of her children who ride on bus #561 have repeatedly voiced their concerns. Blessing says "the bus driver drives aggressively, spitefully changes the bus stops, talks to himself and raises his voice. My daughter is uncomfortable being alone on the bus with him. He disregards their safety, makes illegal turns, fails to put out the stop sign and almost runs over the parents vehicles."
It started, according to the mom, with the driver refusing to drop the kids off within the subdivision because he couldn't turn around.
So, Bessling and other parents wait for their children near the entrance of the community where their children can be dropped off. Sometimes parents wait on-foot at the corner, other times they wait in their cars.
While waiting in her car on one recent occasion, Bessling used her camera phone to record an example of her concern. The driver can be seen first backing up within inches of the parked car, then dropping off a child in the road as a dump truck passes within feet of the front doors.
Bessling says it's just one of many instances that have raised concerns. In a post on social media, Bessling shares a picture her son sent her after being dropped off at school 30 minutes earlier than when students are supposed to be let off. She says her son was forced to wait outside the locked doors in cold temperatures until it opened.
Bessling says she called the district twice before reaching out to FOX 17 News, police and other media entities. While she did get a response from the district after reaching out to FOX 17 News and police, she says they are missing the point.
"Who is holding the bus drivers accountable?," Bessling says. Although the superintendent and transportation officials have alluded to putting the driver on a different route, that doesn't make her feel better. "What about the other parents whose children will be getting on the bus with this man?"
Bessling doesn't seem to be alone when it comes to concerns over drivers. Her social media post has received comments from other parents in different communities voicing concerns over alleged speeding, accidents, and botched drop-offs.
FOX 17 News is continuing a follow up on the issue and has reached out to the school district, and other officials.