Ensure the Safety of our Children

Richmond Board of Education

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The Richmond Board of Education has refused to listen to parents, to drivers, to children and have neglected the system putting Augusta's children in harms way. We have come together to tell the Richmond Board of Education they must ensure the safety of our children.

To: Richmond Board of Education
From: [Your Name]

In order to ensure the safety of our children when they ride to school on bus service provided by the Richmond County Board of Education, we the undersigned do hereby assert that the Richmond County Board of Education must:

UPGRADE THE AGING FLEET

31% (49 of 159) of the buses that Augusta’s children ride to school are over 11 years old and have outlived their usefulness.

MAKE SCHOOL BUS DRIVING A GREAT JOB

Buses are overcrowded as a result of poor pay and conditions that cause high driver turnover. A full-time school-bus driver takes on an enormous responsibility. They must be fairly compensated so that drivers do not seek better employment elsewhere and our children ride with experienced, well-trained drivers at the wheel.

IMMEDIATE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION INTO ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AT MIKE PADGETT DEPOT

72% of drivers at the Mike Padgett depot report having health symptoms as a result of working there. 50% reported missing work because of those symptoms.

HIRE ADDITIONAL MECHANICS TO SECURE SAFETY OF FLEET

Government inspectors found 420 defects, 54 of which were listed as serious in 2018. 75.6% of the buses had defects. More mechanics are necessary to keep up with the maintenance demands of an aging fleet.

INSTALL FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS ON ALL SCHOOL BUSES

With three bus fires this school year it is clear that fire extinguishers alone are not enough to protect our children. Every bus should be equipped with a fire suppression system.