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Douglas County mother concerned over crowded school buses

Son sat on the floor during bus ride
Posted at 5:18 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 19:34:51-05

PARKER, Colo. -- Not relying on school transportation isn’t an option for mother of four Martha Griffenberg. 

“We are two-income families. We need to work. We have to get out, and we rely on the buses to safely transport our kids,” said Griffenberg.

But lately, she says she doesn’t feel like her children attending Douglas County schools are safe riding the bus. 

“My son, Aaron, sat where the steps were when you get on the bus one day while he was riding the bus home,” said Griffenberg. 

Griffenberg says her other son, Andrew, who attends Ponderosa High School, snapped a picture of what that bus looked like from the inside Monday on his way home. 

“I try to get there as soon as I could, but the buses were late, so I ended up at that back of the group, which is why I was standing. If I’m late I don’t get a seat, and I was seating at the floor,” said Andrew Griffenberg. 

The lack of room is becoming a growing concern for his mother.

“All It takes is one accident and one mishap. I don’t know how the bus drivers are OK driving with that," she said.

But a Douglas County School District spokesperson said Tuesday that bus drivers are trained not to allow students to sit in on the floor because it’s a safety hazard.

And while she couldn’t comment on Griffenberg’s incident, she tells Denver7 the fistrict’s 19 buses are designed for 77 passengers. But they allow 55 students on most buses, with the exception of one that allows 62 aboard, which would mean that on any typical day there would be two to three students a seat. 

But Andrew Griffenberg says that’s not always the case. 

“There have been cases where I have seen three to a seat – someone sitting on someone’s lap. So, it’s four to a seat, probably at least once a day at this point,” said Andrew Griffenberg.   

Ponderosa High School and Sagewood Middle School students ride the bus together. The district says that parents with any concerns should contact their transportation manager. However, Griffenberg says she tried to reach out to the school and nothing has been done.