Cariboo school bus service suspended for third day; teachers' association concerned about safety
School buses not running in the Cariboo, teachers still asked to go to work
School bus service in the Cariboo has been cancelled for the third time this week because of hazardous roads in the region, but parents and teachers are still being asked to make the trek to schools.
A recommendation from bus drivers prompted School District 27 to suspend school bus service in and around Williams Lake and 100 Mile House earlier this week.
"Because we transport students across a lot of areas, it's a concern that if a bus driver has 50 students on the bus and they do slip and hit a ditch then we've got one adult with 50 kids, which makes that supervision piece very difficult," said superintendent Mark Wintjes.
Record-breaking precipitation this week has caused slippery highways and city roads.
DriveBC is reporting slippery sections for Highway 97.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hwy97N?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Hwy97N</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cariboo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cariboo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WilliamsLake?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WilliamsLake</a> Graders are working removing compact from the highways <a href="https://t.co/phWZQqoVuX">pic.twitter.com/phWZQqoVuX</a>—@TranBC_Cariboo
The Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers' Association is concerned that suspending bus service but keeping schools open will make the roads more dangerous.
"Parents wouldn't be compelled to drive their kids," said president Murray Helmer. "Those situations put more people on the road than would normally be there."
"It really complicates things for the teachers because if they feel the students are going to be there, they feel compelled to go, but they're also worried about the conditions that they'll be driving in."
So the idea is that while the roads are too bad for busses, even heavier individual car use is necessitated putting parents and kids at risk whether driving or walking on the difficult streets to school? Really bad judgement. Just close for the day like more sensible places do!—@ngdale
Because the schools are open, teachers are expected to get to work, but if they choose to stay home because of the icy roads, they won't get paid. Helmer said this puts unfair pressure on teachers to drive in unsafe conditions.
With files from Daybreak Kamloops