Bus shortage continues to plague schools - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Bus shortage continues to plague schools

by Michele Catahay

Guam - While the bus issue has yet to be rectified, schools say they're forced to deal with late buses. Everyday always seems to be a rough day in Mangilao at George Washington High School when it comes to the bus situation here. Assistant Principal Gaylene Cruz says kids are forced to wait for buses because most of them don't arrive on time to pick up and drop-off students.   

"Like I said in the beginning, this is unacceptable," Cruz stated. "This is something that they should've known and have addressed before schools open. Like I told Bus Operations - we're not dealing with a small school. We have 2,700+ students and if the buses are not here on time, safety becomes an issue. But not only that, imagine such a long line and a lot of kids. It's hard to hear even with a bullhorn."

Cruz says GW has had to open school earlier than normal in order to accommodate bus operations. She says she's had several complaints from parents and staff members are forced to stay a little longer until the last student is picked up.  "I believe maybe about two weeks ago or the first week of school, it was almost 5:30 and we even had to call-there was even a bus that didn't come back, so parents ended up coming here to pick up students. So for me, everyday, honestly, is terrible," said the assistant principal.

It's also an issue here at Untalan Middle School. Principal Eleuterio Mesa says while it's not much a problem in the morning, it's a huge on after school. He says over a hundred students have to wait for the bus to pick them up.

He told KUAM News, "The irony about this whole thing is that the farthest people get home on time but the people down in Canada, Barrigada will go home a little after an hour. So I'm encouraging the parents in those areas to pick up their kids until the busing situation is subsided."

He says he's they're going to have to get creative while the bus situation is being addressed by the Department of Public Works. Mesa added, "I'm glad to open the library to serve the internet but that would be another issue. They may be so engrossed. They might just miss the bus. It's something I need to look at very closely."

In the meantime, Cruz is hoping funding will be available to ensure buses are running as they're supposed to.

"I'm hoping that anybody who is in control of the money to get these buses repaired, I know it has nothing to do with the traffic, maybe minimal. But I know that the buses are down, and I'm hoping the Legislature and all the people who give Bus Operations what they need, because I know the students are the ones affected by it and Bus Operations cannot continue to be DOE's problems.

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