Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Granbury ISD bus students brace for heat as some busses air conditioning systems aren’t working


Granbury ISD students who use the bus as transportation have been feeling the heat as some buses have been running without air conditioning.

With temperatures in the upper hundreds at the start of school and temperatures still being high, students are facing a tough ride to and from school.

Ryan Cox, Director of Communications for GISD said,” GISD only has one bus that is not equipped with A/C. All SpEd buses currently have working A/C. We have 22 buses with A/C write-ups that are constantly being worked on by maintenance. Techs are working overtime to keep the buses fixed and running. Transportation is having $1,000 worth of freon delivered this week to help with A/C on the buses. We are also continuing to provide water, ice, and cooling rags for students that need them on the bus”

In the regularly scheduled Aug. 21 GISD school board meeting, new Cresson resident Travis Weatheread brought direct attention to the board regarding the ac issue. Weatheread’s daughter attends Acton Elementary and claims other parents have said this has been an ongoing issue.

“I have been made aware that to combat the heat this year, the district is having kids roll down the windows once they get on the bus. That clearly doesn’t solve issues whenever a friend of my daughter comes off the bus complaining their having trouble breathing, sweat is pouring off of them, and their faces are blood red saying it was so hot she fell asleep,” Weatheread said. “This sounds much more like passing out to me. Most children don’t fully comprehend the signs and dangers of heat exhaustion. All they really understand is that it's too hot. However, when you have your own bus drivers begging parents like myself and my wife to speak on these matters and to speak against unsafe working conditions something needs to be done. Not in November once the heat has dissipated.”

“If anyone here thinks this is unreasonable to take care of our children... I suggest that you yourselves conduct ride alongs on the buses with no air conditioning for a week to see how long you can last with the children and drivers dealing with this on a daily basis,” Weatheread added.

After Weatheread’s speech, Superintendent Dr. Glenn noted that “The district ordered four new school buses this past December and they have not come in yet.”

“In the 2013 bond, GISD used designated money to purchase 16 new buses. 5 in 2013-14, 7 in 2014-15, and 4 in 2015-16. Since then, GISD has purchased 19 new buses with local and federal funds,” Cox said.

Granbury ISD put out a statement on social media regarding the issue on Aug. 18 on behalf of the transportation department.

“Granbury ISD Transportation is having technicians work overtime daily to repair A/C systems on our buses as fast as possible to ensure the health and safety of everyone on board during this extreme heat. Every bus will have bottled water and cooling rags available. Students can ask their driver if they need either one to cool off at any time. Parents are encouraged to send your student to school with an insulated water bottle. We understand it is hot outside and we are doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for every student. Thank you for your understanding.”

The $151,725,000 bond set to be voted on in November would include the purchase of 30 new buses.

For questions or concerns regarding bus transportation contact GISD Transportation at 817-408-4150.