When any organization or industry has a labor shortage, they may have to take extraordinary measures to fill a role. When that role is driving children, what are the implications for child safety?
This is not a hypothetical situation in Texas, where the transportation director for the Round Rock Independent School District faced the beginning of the school year needing to fill more than 20 bus driver positions.
“When my day starts off, the first thing I do — me and my supervisors — we look at who we can hire out there. Who’s applied for jobs,” Scott Copeland told KXAN-TV. “We hire people in as quick as we can.”
And candidates aren’t easy to find, Copeland says—at a recent job fair, “we put banners out and we only had three people show up.”
In Dallas, officials were considering …
On a mid-July afternoon, a bus returned to the Discovering Me Academy day care center in northwest Houston after a field trip. Nobody noticed that one of the children, 3-year-old Raymond Pryer Jr., stayed on the bus.
Nobody found the boy, called “RJ” by his family, until his father arrived to take him home that evening, more than three-and-a-half hours later. By then, RJ had died inside the bus, which had reached 113 degrees.
As of late August, Houston police were still investigating the incident, and no criminal charges have been filed, the Houston Chronicle reports. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is also still investigating.
“It seems to me this is just gross negligence,” said Alan Rosen, the constable of Precinct 1 in Harris County, at the time. “It’s just tragic.”
In August, RJ’s parents filed …