School system responds to Cheatham County bus crash
ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. -
Cheatham County Schools came under fire Thursday when several parents claimed they were never notified of a bus crash involving student injuries.
The bus was carrying students from two to three different schools when it was rear-ended by a SUV on Highway 12 near West Cheatham Elementary.
Thirteen students and the bus driver were taken to Ashland City Medical Center for minor injuries.
In the hours after the crash, several parents told Nashville's News 2 they had not been contacted by the local school system about the crash.
On Friday, Nashville's News 2 reached out to the Cheatham County School System.
Director of Schools Dr. Stan Curtis declined a request for an on-camera interview, but provided the following statement regarding the incident.
"We do have a protocol where our central office staff identifies the bus involved, downloads the parent contact information from our attendance software and uses every available personnel in the central office to contact the parents promptly. We also utilize our school messenger software that calls immediately with relevant information. If we are unable to reach the parent, the school is called to gather updated contact information and if necessary we send a staff member to the home. Occasionally the emergency contact numbers are invalid. [Thursday] we also sent two staff members to the scene and two to the hospital to comfort our students and parents."
Dr. Curtis also noted, "I am very proud of the way our staff handled this crisis. They truly care about our students and community. We will continually work to improve our communication."
Darrell White, Administrator with TRiStar Ashland City Medical Center, was able to confirm that two school representatives came to hospital about an hour after the crash and asked to speak to the bus driver.
It is unknown if those representatives spoke directly to students or parents.