Rhinelander mom frustrated with school shuttle bus, wants changesSubmitted: 03/12/2018
Allie Herrera
Allie Herrera

Rhinelander mom frustrated with school shuttle bus, wants changes
RHINELANDER - Tammy Kosbab tries to pick up her 11-year-old son after school as often as she can.

"He'll find any reason to not ride the bus," said Kosbab, who lives in Rhinelander. 

Kosbab's son, who she asked us not to name, won't ride a shuttle bus from his school Central Elementary School to the junior high. There are five shuttle buses that pick up kids from Pelican Elementary School and Central Elementary School then take them to the junior high where they get on buses to go home. 

"He's not going to say that he's afraid of the bus driver to anybody, but he obviously is," said Kosbab. 

Kosbab says her son has a genetic disorder and deals with ADHD and anxiety. She says the lack of communication between the school district and bus company has caused problems. 

"They think that he's being defiant and naughty when really he [has] been unable to speak as well or communicate what he needs," said Kosbab. 

Kosbab says a shuttle bus driver told her son to shut up on the bus earlier this school year. That bus driver ended up sending an apology note home.

Bowen's Bus Service Manager Kim Weyers doubles as a bus driver and says the shuttle buses can get "loud and chaotic."

"We got kids yelling and trying to out due one another and so in order for me to be heard in the back by somebody who might be doing something unsafe, I need to yell back so that they can hear me," said Weyers. 

Weyers says the bus company has tried making changes, but they often don't work long-term. She says the five shuttle buses are often filled with kids who are cursing and misbehaving. Weyers hopes to add aids to the shuttle buses as a more permanent solution.

"It's finding people who are willing to just help with a rough situation for a ten minute time frame a day," said Weyers. 

But Weyers says the shortage of bus drivers doesn't help the issue. Anyone that currently works with Bowen's Bus Service has to drive the buses therefore can't be an aid. 

Kosbab says she understands the lack of resources doesn't help, but she wants the issues addressed as soon as possible. 

"Other bus companies don't have this problem and something is done on those buses so something should be done on this bus," said Kosbab. 

Bowen's Bus Service is working with Kosbab and her son to find a solution that works best for him.

Newswatch 12 reached out to the school district, but Superintendent Kelli Jacobi was unavailable on Monday. She told us to reach out to Bowen's Bus Service.

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