Kids forced to stand on crowded school bus

Posted at 9:29 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 16:40:39-04

SKIATOOK, Okla. - Parents in Skiatook say they are fearful for their children's safety while riding the bus to and from school.

Parents say the bus is so packed children are forced to stand in the aisles and sit in each other's laps while the bus is in motion. 

One of the main concerns for parents stems from the possibility of a wreck. Most of those with children on board say they're nervous that if the bus crashed, that the children would lose their lives. 

"They made me sit on the floor," said 6-year-old student Jason Prater. 

Jason told his mom he no longer wanted to ride the bus because there was no room for him to sit in a seat. His brother Zackary filmed the bus ride home from school to prove it. 

"I definitely don't feel safe. It's really hard for me, too," said 7th grader Zackary. 

Jason and Zackary's father says he was shocked by the video of his children on the bus. The video shows the bus is moving while several children stand. 

"Even at 25 mph, which is the speed limit on most of the streets around here, if a child is standing in the aisle at 25 mph, and that bus hits the breaks, they're a potential missile. They're going right through that windshield," said the boys' father Dave Prater.

Dave says he soon learned this has been a problem for years.

2 Works For You took Prater's concerns to the school board. Superintendent Rick Thomas says this is the first he's heard of the problem, but that the video concerned him.

"First off, a bus driver should never take off. A bus driver should know that. They do know that. They know the safety rules on the bus. They know what they should do ... second, is the safety of the kids," said Thomas.

Thomas says he isn't sure this is a crowding issue, but possibly the carelessness of the bus driver. Either way, it hinders the children's safety.

The superintendent says this problem will be addressed to the school board immediately, and they will come up with a solution.  

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