Broward's School Bus Mess Has Turned Into Finger-Pointing Farce
See also: Broward's School Bus System Is a Mess
The Broward school bus mess has officially gone plaid.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie blamed the whole thing on union sabotage.
That's right, the messy school bus problem that has your kids abandoned at bus stops and coming home late from school has officially turned into a 1920s gangster movie.
"We've been sabotaged, see. SABOTAGED!"
Among the accusations Runcie made:
-- Drivers deliberately ignoring specific stops (whoops!)
-- Drivers lying about their unfamiliarity with routes (I don't know where this street is! I'll just keep going straight.)
-- Drivers dumping kids at the wrong stops (You live 12 blocks from here? Ah well. *Bus roars away as kid is left standing outside abandoned warehouse*)
And now, of course, the drivers are not happy about said accusations.
More than 30 bus drivers showed up at a Broward School Board meeting today to protest Runcie's sabotage talk.
"It's an outright lie," bus driver Ida Mae Bell told the Sun-Sentinel. "Nobody is going to deliberately leave a child on the side of the road to make someone look bad."
The drivers are blaming district administrators for the school bus debacle, claiming officials have failed to assign drivers to all the needed routes.
Union representative Linda Lewis accused Runcie, who took over the job less than a year ago, of scheming to privatize the school bus service.
"That's pure spin and the union's attempt to feed paranoia," Runcie said of the accusation. "That topic has never been discussed with management staff, the board, or the union at any time."
The more the accusations fly from both sides, the more the whole thing becomes a bigger clusterfuck, with charges of fraud and abuse and accusations of criminal activity within the transportation department flying willy-nilly.
And as both sides engage in the war of words and finger pointing, kids are still either not being picked up or having to wait at their stop at the crack of dawn.
Even worse, regardless of what is said today at the meeting, things are probably going to remain bad before things improve.
One side alleges sabotage, the other alleges scheming... Meanwhile little Johnny is being left ten miles from home at a construction site and a pile of abandoned tires.