DPS parents frustrated over unreliable transportation first week of school

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A school transportation issue led one Dayton parent to call the police.

A father says the bus didn’t pick up his kids for school in the morning and then never dropped them off at the end of the day.

He says he didn’t know where they were for hours.

Terry Downey says he waited for hours Tuesday night not knowing where his kids were.

He called 2 NEWS this morning – saying the bus didn’t pick his kids up again.

“I was nervous,” said William Downey, his 11-year-old son and Dayton Public Schools student.

“I’m very upset because I have this same exact issue every year. Every year,” Terry said. Now, he’s holding his 11 and 7-year-old kids a little tighter. Tuesday was the first day of school and Downey says it’s off to a bad start.

“I just thought it was amazing that they couldn’t find them. They didn’t even know where they was,” he said.

Downey says the bus didn’t pick his kids up for school in the morning. At the end of the day – they never got dropped off and he couldn’t get a hold of anyone.

“I tried calling the call center. it was a two-and-a-half-hour wait, 80 some people ahead of me,” he said. When Downey couldn’t reach anyone at the district, he called 2 NEWS. We suggested he call the police.

Once he did, he says he got a call from the district.

The district says they took more than 1,000 calls Tuesday– most about transportation issues.

I called the transportation center today, and the district e-mailed me a statement about Downey’s situation.

In reads:

The first days of school with new routes can result in delays and hiccups. We don’t like to hear that any family has waited an unreasonable length of time to receive their children from school and work to address any specific issue parents bring to our attention–including a lack of communication. Customer service is important to us, and we have taken more than 7,000 phone calls since Monday, answering parent questions and providing information to help them begin the school year. Our central office administrators have done a tremendous job of supporting our schools during the first few days of this new year, making sure all hands are on deck in service to our children.

Downey was reunited with his children nearly three hours after school let out, back in the school parking lot.

“my kids ended up not getting dropped off until 10 after 6 in a private vehicle by the head of security,” he said.

Downey says he’s upset his kids were put in a private vehicle without his consent. The call center has 4 people working it – this week they’ve taken 7,000 calls.

To make a complaint, call 937-542-3010.

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