Riding the school bus every morning is fairly routine for many students. But for one Effingham County third grader, getting to that ride's a little rough. For Marsha Marks and her neighbor Betty Zoll and their three daughters in Rincon, their morning routine took a drastic turn halfway through last school year.
"The bus driver told me she was no longer allowed to come down my street. I said what?," recalled Marks.
For more than a year, Marks says the school bus picked up her daughter Amanda in front of the house every morning, but then without any notice it just stopped.
Now these neighbors wait at a bus stop both moms say is unsafe, because it's near a construction site and on a four-way intersection. But that's not all. "One morning as I watched her, I saw a car pull up and say, 'Little girl do you need a ride?'" Marks told us. "I yelled and went down and got her."
Transportation coordinator Slade Helmly says the school bus was never supposed to go the Marks' house, so they're now doing what they should have done before. "If we ran door-to-door service for everybody, we certainly wouldn't be able to keep the schedule," he said.
But as WTOC cameras waited for the bus, we saw it pick up every other child in the neighborhood in front of their home except these little girls.
Helmly says it's because their houses are off the main road, but these moms say it's personal. "I think it's personal grudge they have against me that they are taking out on my daughter," said Marks.
Helmly also says if the board of education thought that the girls were in danger, they would move the bus stop. But for now they believe the children are safe.