An Ohio father whose children missed a day of school due to a nationwide bus driver shortage has started driving students to class in his family’s stretch limo.
Sean Rogers posted a message to Facebook last Friday offering rides to neighbourhood schoolchildren in Linden, Columbus, using a borrowed vehicle from his father’s limousine service.
Word spread quickly and on Monday, he took 25 kids to school and by the next day he was helping 42 kids with a ride.
“Everybody is so shocked like ‘who is this guy pulling up in a limo’ and then they wonder who is in the back seat,” Mr Rogers told Local12 news site.
“Everybody always wants to say, ‘Let’s help the community, let’s stop this violence,’ that type of stuff.
“But I feel like a big step of stopping the violence is getting kids to school instead of letting them skip school and go out and get into trouble,” Mr Rogers said.
Mr Rogers said he was almost brought to tears after seeing a girl weep because she was so happy to be able to go to school.
Columbus City Schools is suffering a chronic shortage of drivers, with as many as 20 per cent of drivers called in sick last week, a board meeting was told last week.
The nationwide bus driver shortage is also affecting student’s attendance in Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and other states, presenting another obstacle in getting children back into classrooms after the pandemic disruptions.
Many drivers were furloughed or retired during the Covid-enforced school closures of 2020 and 2021, leaving parents without any options for getting their children to school.
“The buses don’t come in the morning,” Columbus mother Quetta Jaye told NBC12.
“They don’t come at night, like they didn’t have no drivers for our kids to make it to school and back.”
She said Mr Rogers was a “blessing”, and was helping many families.
While Mr Rogers is being praised by parents, school officials have said the limo is not approved for student transportation.
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