Augusta Community to Deliver Petition to Richmond County Board of Education: Put the Brakes on Toxic School Buses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWU Contact: Heather Laverty, 269-598-2235
Bus Driver Contact: Yolanda Brown, 706-513-4879
Parent Contact: Timothy Howard, 706-399-1367
April 22, 2019
Augusta Community to Deliver Petition to Richmond County Board of Education:
Put the Brakes on Toxic School Buses
WHEN: Tuesday, April 23 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: 864 Broad Street, Central Office Boardroom, Augusta, Georgia
WHO: The Transport Workers Union (TWU), which represents School Bus Operators and Mechanics for Richmond County, parents, students, teachers and drivers will deliver a petition to the Richmond County Board of Education demanding they upgrade the county’s defective and dangerous school buses.
WHY: On Thursday Oct. 18, School Bus #267 experienced mechanical issues and caught on fire. Children were evacuated from the bus by the operator and luckily no one was hurt.
On Nov. 9, 2018, TWU members attended the Richmond County Board of Education meeting, asking for an investigation into the dilapidated school buses. Instead, the superintendent alluded that the fire was arson.
On March 7, 2019, the TWU hosted a Citizen’s Town Hall: Toxic School Buses in Crisis to find solutions and demand answers from board members.
On April 23, 2019, we will deliver a petition signed by thousands to Board of Education members to ensure the safety of Richmond County students as they ride to and from school on bus service provided by the county. The petition demands that the board:
- Upgrade the aging school bus fleet: 31% are over 11 years old and have outlived their usefulness.
- Make school bus driving a great job: Buses are overcrowded as a result of poor pay and conditions that cause high driver turnover. A full-time school bus driver has an enormous responsibility and must be fairly compensated.
- Immediate independent investigation into the environmental hazards at Mike Padgett Depot: 72% of drivers at the depot report having health symptoms as a result of working there. 50% reported missing work because of the symptoms.
- Hire additional mechanics to secure the safety of the fleet: Government inspectors found 420 defects – 54 which were listed as serious in 2018. 75.6% of buses had defects.
- Install fire suppression systems on all school buses: With three school bus fires this school year, it’s clear that fire extinguishers alone are not enough to protect students.
For more info, visit www.ToxicSchoolBus.org.