Bus drivers deserve respect



Bus Driver Larry Miller hands out candy.

Khalyce Griffin, Staff Reporter

   There are many staff members that come face to face with students on a daily basis, we all know our teachers, administrators, and we can’t forget our cafeteria staff and janitors.

   One group goes without much recognition are our bus drivers. 

   With the recent shortage of drivers, they have many challenges they face, ranging from waking up early to their small pay, not many know just how much they have to do.

   “You have a lot of responsibility because they have anywhere between 50 to 70 kids on the bus, dealing with their parents, dealing with traffic, trying to maneuver the bus around. Just a lot of things on their plate,” Director of Transportation Jason Holland said.

   Despite the struggles, many drivers feel like they are loved and appreciated. 

   “Our district does a good job with it, some other districts might not.  Some people may not think as highly as bus drivers. You know, you just kind of overlook the bad things,” bus driver and teacher Lyle Kennedy said.

   Some drivers have close family on the bus such as bus driver Melanie Rice.

   “The only reason I drive is because my grandkids are on the bus,” Rice said.

   Others, such as bus driver Larry Miller, enjoy watching the kids grow from elementary to high school.

   “It grows on you, once you drive and get the kids on the bus everyday,” Miller said. “A lot of them are real nice sweet children, you just want to continue to do that.”

   One of the major outliers that affect bus drivers is reckless driving. In Mississippi alone, there are 500 bus accidents per year, leaving at least 137 deceased and hundreds more injured, which means we are in the Top 25 in the United States.

   “Please pay attention, we have yellow lights before we stop, before we even stop just pay attention,” said John Britt, who’s been a bus driver for 20 years.

   Respecting bus drivers is important, as they get us home everyday. When getting on and off your bus, greet them and thank them. Our drivers do their absolute best they can to get us home safe and soundly.