Bus driver shortage continues for Hannibal public schools
HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) - If your child takes the bus to school you want to make sure their routes don’t get cancelled. But, what happens when a school district does not have enough bus drivers?
The new school year started last week for Hannibal Public School District and is still facing a bus driver shortage.
There are around 40 bus drivers in the district and they still have three openings.
Ted Sampson is the Hannibal High School principal, but when school gets out in the afternoon, you can sometimes see him driving students home in a bus.
“Ultimately, kids have to be at school to learn obviously and if you don’t have drivers then that’s hard to make that happen,” Sampson said.
Principals, teachers and other staff members have been filling in the gaps.
“Most of us who have volunteered or who have taken on this extra responsibility don’t mind doing it from time to time but just doing it every day can take a toll on people,” Sampson said.
Hannibal School District Manager Rich Stilley said the staff who stepped up to the plate have been a big help.
“It’s been huge,” Stilley said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t want to ever cancel any routes but that would have to be a possibility if we didn’t have these folks that were stepping up and really being team players.”
Stilley said while he appreciates their help, those teachers and principals need more time doing what they were hired for. That’s why he wants to fill all the driver positions they have left.
“They need to be with their kids in their buildings, but they’re stepping out and doing the right thing and it’s important that they work with us,” Stilley said. “We also need to keep them in their buildings.”
Anyone who is interested in becoming a bus driver can call the transportation department at 573-221-2604.
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