Jefferson County parents say they weren’t notified of bus crash by school system

Several parents are upset because they say they weren't notified of their kids being in a school bus crash.

JEFFERSON CITY (WATE) – Several parents are upset because they say they weren’t notified of their kids being in a school bus crash. The crash happened early Monday morning in Jefferson County. Two students received minor injuries. Jefferson County Schools said a bus carrying 31 students went off the road on Monday.

“She was in mass hysteria. She was crying on the phone,” said Beth Daniels, a parent.

Daniels’ daughter was on the bus Monday morning. She called her mom in a panic after her school bus crashed into a tree.

“It was a little bit disconcerting cause you think the worst,” said Daniels.

Daniel’s husband raced over to make sure she was okay. Then, he saw the bus.

“The bus was totally off the road,” said Daniels.

Jefferson County Schools said the driver slipped off of the road after he attempted to open a window. The crash happened on East Dumplin Valley Road. The lane on that roadway is 8 feet 2 inches wide. The school bus is 8 feet wide. That gave the driver 2 inches for a margin of error.

“If the tree hadn’t blocked the bus, it could have been so much worse,” said Daniels.

Previous story: 2 students injured in Jefferson County school bus crash

Thankfully, her daughter is okay. However, Daniels said she never heard anything from the school system.

“I didn’t receive any phone call or any notification about the accident,” said Daniels.

Most parents said they found out on Facebook or from their children. They said after seeing photos of the crash, they believed it deserved a phone call.

“I just felt disrespected. It was a lack of common courtesy on their part,” said Daniels.

WATE 6 On Your Side took Daniels’ concerns to Dr. Charles Edmonds, the director of schools for Jefferson County.

“Either Ms. Dotson or myself talked to every parent of the 31 students,” said Edmonds.

However, at least five families told WATE 6 On Your Side that is not true. They said they did not receive a phone call.

“Well, I’m sorry. I wont argue with what you say you heard. That is what we thought we had done,” said Edmonds.

Acknowledging a possible mistake, Edmonds said the school needs to change its emergency plan. He said it will divide up the phone calls and assign them for the future.

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke to a parent whose child was injured in the crash. He said he’s been taking his daughter to the doctor’s office almost every day since the crash for X-rays. He said he also did not receive a phone call the day of the crash.

The Jefferson County Schools Transportation Department did make phone calls the day after the crash. Daniels said she didn’t get that call but her daughter did.

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