Clay County

Mom says school bus stopped picking kids up in Keystone Heights neighborhood

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Parents tell Action News Jax local kids are being forced to stay home from school because there’s no bus drivers to take them.

Living in rural Keystone Heights, Stephanie Swanson needs to start her morning early to plan for travel time.

”I leave for work anytime between 5:30 and 5:45 [am],” she said. ”The kids usually catch the bus at around 6:05 [am].”

She has an 8th and a 10th grader who attend Keystone Heights Junior and Senior High School.

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Along Indian Trail is where her kids would usually catch the bus to drive them 15 miles to school. Except on Thursday morning at 6 a.m., Swanson says parents got a robocall saying it wasn’t going to show.

”Oh no, what am I gonna do?” she remembers thinking.”[The kids] have always had the school bus, so this is totally blindsiding us,” she added. ”I did call transportation and they didn’t have any other information other than there’s a shortage of drivers,” Swanson explained.

A neighbor helped give her kids a lift last week, but on Monday, “the kids had to stay home,” she said.

She says she called the Clay County District Schools and was told there was no option for online learning.

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”If the kids miss school, there’s nothing that can be done about that,” she pointed out. ”They’re upset, they don’t want to get behind and I don’t want them to get behind.”

A spokesperson for the Clay County School District confirmed Google classroom is still available if students have to be out for any reason. Now, Swanson hopes she’ll get some answers about transportation.

”[I’m] frustrated right now but I hopefully will become optimistic after I speak to someone else,” she said.