Bus Company on School Bus No Show

Laidlaw bus service is in hot water with parents whose children weren't picked up after school at Bloomingdale Elementary last night. When a bus was finally sent to get them, it was well after 6pm.

Even though parents were clearly upset about what happened, Laidlaw officials say it was just a matter of miscommunication.

"The school had been notified about four o'clock that the bus was running late," said Laidlaw spokesperson Rufus Smith. "It was a substitute driver. When the driver got to the school , this driver did not see any students to pick up."

So the bus driver went on to pick up other students at a school in Pooler, leaving several kids without a ride home.

According to Laidlaw officials, the mix-up occurred with the bus driver didn't see the kids standing outside by the bus stop,  so she drove off. A teacher had seen the children standing in the cold and opened her warm classroom for them.

"Small children. Elementary school kids that are left at school until it's dark," said concerned parent Jackie Scott, who's child was among those affected. "It's ridiculous."

"What we have here is there was a major miscommunication between the school and our dispatcher," said Laidlaw's Smith.

A miscommunication that occurred when the bus driver called to say she'd be a half hour late. The problem, according to Laidlaw, was that when the bus driver came back, nobody told her the students were waiting inside because of the cold weather.

"The students were in the school the whole time, so the students were not in any harm or anything like that," said Smith. "But our problem was that we had a substitute driver on a route and was unable to identify where the children were."

Laidlaw officials would like to apologize to parents, and want them to know everything will be done to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com