GENEVA, Ohio (WJW) – School bus inspection reports from Ohio State Highway Patrol show 75% of buses examined at Geneva Area City Schools failed to meet standards.
“Our children’s safety is the number one priority,” said parent Jack Dubsky. “Those kids need to be on safe buses, seats that are secure, brakes that are working properly and regularly inspected by a mechanic from the district.”
Inspections conducted Thursday revealed several violations, including loose passenger seats, and brake pads that are cracked and separated from the backing.
Other reports detailed an emergency window buzzer that was not working along with a broken emergency roof hatch, among other issues that did not meet standards.
The school district has 29 buses in its fleet. According to superintendent Terri Hrina-Treharn, typically 16 are running. OSHP inspection reports show eight buses listed as out of service. Four other buses inspected earlier this year were also listed as out of service in the report.
According to OSHP, buses are inspected at least twice a year. One is considered an annual inspection, the other a spot inspection. Failure does not immediately equate to a dangerous school bus, a spokesperson said.
Inspection results left some parents scrambling to find a way to get their children home safely after the district alerted parents of the transportation issue.
“We received a call about an hour before school was to be let out informing us there was going to be no busing like at all,” said Allyson Heinz, who was able to pick up her six-year-old in time. “We had an hour’s notice to pick up our kids from school as well as figure out how to get them to and from school today.”
In a written statement, Hrina-Treharn said a substitute mechanic would be working to resolve issues during the weekend. The district plans to have buses re-inspected with the goal of being prepared to resume routes Tuesday.
In the meantime, parents are advised to arrange other transportation for students on Monday.
“The board of education needs to step in,” said Dubsky. “There’s things that are going on that are unsafe, and if the BOE sits back and doesn’t take action, shame on them.”
The president of the Geneva Area City Schools Teachers Association said close to 100 middle school students were absent Friday.