Photo of crowded Tuscarawas County school bus has parents asking questions

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TUSCARAWAS COUNTY, Ohio - A photo posted to social media appears to show a school bus crowded so badly that the students are spilling out of their seats and sitting in the aisle.

The photo has generated concern from some parents in the Tusky Valley School District who are concerned about their children's safety.

It was posted by Dawn Murphy whose son rides the same bus.

"My concern was, my gosh if something happens, you know, God forbid. You know if they get in an accident, those kids cannot evacuate that bus," said Murphy.

School District Superintendent Mark Murphy says after the photo was brought to his attention he started studying footage from cameras on the districts buses.

He says what he found was that the image in the photo appears to be the exception rather than the rule.

Murphy says the district's buses have a capacity of 72 passengers and they should never get to that point.

But the district has adjusted its schedule this year so that elementary students and high school students start at the same time and ride the same routes. Thus, there are more students on the buses, particularly in the morning

"I noticed we have 52 students. Thursday morning, 52 students, the following morning 56 students. Nowhere close is that bus to capacity. Now they are high school kids so those buses are full, the seats, you feel tighter -  you're tighter in the seats. But there's enough space for three individuals to sit there," said the superintendent.

He is taking the parents' concerns seriously.

"You are going to be out in the aisle a little bit if you are sitting three to a seat. I get that, but no one should ever, like the person we see in that photo that is squatted in the aisle there, that is a huge no-no and that is something that we are addressing and cannot happen. But that is something that we need to take ownership of and address, and we are doing that," added the superintendent.​

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