NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Superintendent of New Haven public schools apologized to parents Wednesday night over confusion over school bus stops ahead of the first day of school.
Superintendent, Dr. Carol Birks, spoke exclusively to News 8: “I just want to say to the families, I apologize profusely that any anguish or anxiety that this has caused as it relates to transportation this academic year.”
Hundreds of parents flooded the transportation office of NHPS for a third straight day.
A lot of parents simply don’t understand why. Wednesday, the District’s Chief Operating Officer is in the hot seat and vowing to review each stop for possible changes.
NH parent, Heather Villa said of the situation, “Oh it’s been awful.”
Tuesday, News 8 was first to expose the controversial changes to school bus stops announced just days before the start of school.
NH parent Gary Davis, said, “They didn’t give us no notification of changing, you know. They, they’re going to wait until almost the first day of school to deal with the issue.”
Another parent was adamant, “My grandson is more important to me than anything else. My grandson is not walking to school.”
NHPS Chief Operating Officer, Michael Pinto, says bus stops were eliminated to trip long ride times, reduce pollution, and promote healthier students through walking.
Parents disagree: “Eliminate bus service so they can become healthier? No, you’re putting them out here for danger, that’s what it is.”
School Board President Darnell Goldson says the changes were not approved by the board and vowed to review ‘what went wrong’:
“In the near future, the board will have an opportunity to review this process and determine where it went wrong. Presently the board’s goal is to make certain the problems are corrected to ensure that our students are safely being transported to their schools. We have suggested to the administration that they redirect resources to the transportation department to provide quality customer service to families attempting to contact the school system.”Darnell Goldson, President, Board of Education, New Haven Public Schools
In a statement, the New Haven Department of Transportation apologized to families over the confusion with school bus routes.
The Transportation Department says they are working to address issued being raised by parents about stop locations and the distance kids have to walk. Adjustments are being made on a case-by-case basis.