Osceola County students wait hours after school over bus issues

Some Harmony Middle School parents were upset over their children's first day of school. They told FOX 35 News that the school bus brought their kids home more than two hours late, with no explanation.

Harmony student Rylan Binkley said he spent over two hours in the gymnasium waiting for his bus to take him home at the end of the day. It had his mother, Alisha, worried.

"Very confused as to why it took them so long. It also made me concerned," she said.  "To sit there for two-and-a-half hours and no communication from the school or anything, it was just frustrating." 

She said she tried getting answers. "When I tried to call the transportation, there were 28 people in line ahead of me trying to find out where their kids were."

She also called Harmony Middle School directly, where someone answered the phone. "She told me that, ‘Well, the office closes at 5,’ I said, ‘That’s great! Do I need to come and pick him up?’ She said, ‘Well, I can’t tell you what you should and shouldn’t do.’"

Alisha wasn’t sure if the bus was nearby, so she waited and waited. Her son should have been home by 4 p.m. but instead walked in the door at 5:45 p.m. An Osceola School District spokesperson said a bus that serves both Harmony Middle and Harmony Community School had a mechanical failure while on its route.  Alisha said she just wanted to be told what was happening. She said a bus app that they use wasn’t working. 

"The lack of communication from the school, it was just frustrating."

Administrators said there will be delays over the next few weeks as they re-evaluate and change some bus routes. They ask for parents to be patient, saying, "We are working around the clock to fix any issues that may arise." They added that if a bus is running late, they will make sure it drops off at every assigned stop.

"They should have contacted all the parents," said Alisha.  Rylan, 13, is glad to be back home, after a long first day of school. "Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day." 

Administrators say, even if a bus is late, they will make drop-offs at all stops.