Bus crash concerns spark changes to Kingsport city schools

KINGSPORT (WJHL) – A parent’s concerns over Kingsport City School’s handling of a school bus crash is sparking changes to the school district’s emergency notification system.

Elaina Hartman told News Channel 11, last week when her 6-year-old granddaughter was 20 minutes late coming home from school, she began to panic.

“I tried calling the school and there was no answer and as a parent or grandparent I was really worried,” said Hartman.

Hartman said she called her granddaughter’s school and Kingsport City School’s central office but no one picked up.

Hartman said she even called the teacher.

“She made a couple of phone calls and called me back and said that she didn’t understand if the bus was involved in an accident or if it was just involved in traffic,” said Hartman.

Hartman then called the police and an officer confirmed her granddaughter’s bus was involved in a minor bus crash.

The bus finally arrived more than hour later, but the Hartman said the schools lack of communication was unacceptable.

“Something needs to change we should’ve been notified or should’ve had a number to where we could call and actually talk to somebody,” said Hartman.

The next day Hartman voiced her concerns to school administrators.

Chief Administrative Officer Andy True said the school analyzed the situation and decided to make changes.

“We’ve created and tweaked our information flow from the driver to the transportation director in student services and I kind of get in the loop as well,” said True.

True said standard protocol was for one school administrator to try to contact each parent of a child involved in an accident. But now, the school system will utilize its emergency notification system.

“We can go in and do a sort and do a search, pull out that list of kids that are assigned to that bus and make a call to specifically those children,” said True.

Hartman said she is happy with the administration’s response, but hopes there are no repeats of this scary situation.

 

 

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