School buses present social distancing challenges as districts plan out new year amid COVID-19 pandemic

Keeping Schools Safe

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As district leaders work on back-to-school plans, transportation to and from school while social distancing presents another challenge.

That could force parents to make tough decisions. Social distancing in a classroom is one thing, but it’s even more challenging on a school bus.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris addressed that at this week’s COVID-19 task force briefing.

“How do you organize your bus and transportation for school safely? How do you make sure you are screening individuals as they enter the schools? All those things are under discussions,” Harris said.

Districts like the Lakeland school system say it’s very possible bus transportation will not be available or only available to certain groups as required by law. That potentially presents another obstacle for parents.

“Some parents [have] to be at work at a certain time and they look forward to the buses to pick their child up at a certain time and make sure they make it there safe,” parent Dearick Price said.

Stacey Johnson is considering home school for her kids next year, but she knows that’s not an option for everyone. She and other parents hope the right choices will be made for the safety of everyone involved.

Shelby County Schools leaders are expected to release their re-entry plan later this month.

“It’s going to be hard but I believe we can do it if we keep the faith,” Price said.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are moving forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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