Driving a school bus can be a stressful job on its own. But, Holmes County bus drivers told News Channel 7, some teachers and school principals were making their jobs tougher than they needed to be.
Several drivers approached the Holmes County School Board citing communication issues between them, teachers and principals. They claimed the problem was only being compounded by a general lack of respect for their occupation.
Janet Ellenburg delivers about 70 Holmes County students to and from school each day.
"I always try to remember to say a prayer for the good Lord to go with us and get us there safely. All the time that passes and you don't see a story about a bus on the news- and the reason you don't is because we're doing our job" Ellenburg said.
In her 12 years behind the wheel, she's learned dealing with students was just part of the job. "Some of them have good days, some of them have mean days. I love them on the mean days like I do on the good days" she told us.
She said she didn't have a problem with the kids- that she loved them.
But Ellenburg told us she and the other drivers simply weren't being treated with respect. She said a lack of communication combined with rude attitudes from some teachers and principals had been emotionally draining her tank.
Ellenburg said some of the teachers had been putting children on the bus with just a note that said, 'going to grandma's' but no address. She also told us the drivers were being neglected important information about student's medical conditions. She said it was not only a frustrating problem, but a potentially dangerous problem as well.
"It really hurts that so many people disrespect [bus drivers] and look at you like you couldn't do anything else" Ellenburg said.
Holmes County School Superintendent, Gary Galloway said he was looking into the complaints.
"I've already called a meeting with the principals and staff, I've expressed [the drivers] concerns to those people. Especially about communication and respect" Galloway said.
Galloway told us he was no stranger to the challenges bus drivers face. "When I first started teaching back in the mid 70's, I did some substitute bus driving and I didn't last" he said.
Galloway has been working with the district's transportation department to create student information and policy notebooks for the drivers.