Parent concerned over transportation policies at school
by Mark Andrews
Dec 15, 2013 | 2620 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The guardian of a Cass Middle School student athlete said she is upset because her grandson recently rode home from a sporting event with a teammate, and the parent of the teammate, without her consent. She said her child originally traveled to the tournament via school bus and was not allowed to get back on the bus after initially deciding to get in the passenger vehicle.

An email from Kim Wagnon sent to The Daily Tribune News as well as members of the Bartow County Board of Education and Superintendent John Harper reads, “At the end of the match a parent, whom I do not know was allowed to ‘Sign’ [my child] out of riding the bus back to the school. [My child] rode home on a Two hour drive with me not knowing with a stranger without my approval. This parent is ‘Not’ on any approved list to have my child. I do not know even at this moment who had my child other than [my child] saying [his teammate’s] dad. [My child] did try to get on the bus after he realized this would not be a good idea, I was told he tried to get on the bus and the coach said No you were already signed out! Again, my child was turned away to a person who did not have my knowledge or permission.

“Surely this is not normal practice for the coaching staff to allow children to be ‘signed’ out without parental consent. If this IS normal policy it is unacceptable and should be changed immediately.”

In an emailed response to Wagnon, which subsequently was forwarded to DTN, Harper replied to Wagnon by saying, “I got some information from the principal this morning and responded to her that the Coach should not have allowed your son to ride with this other person.”

At press time, DTN could not find in writing a Bartow County School System policy specifically referring to the transportation of students to and from extra curricular activities. Board Attorney Boyd Pettit said he was not aware of a policy set forth by the board regarding such a matter.

However, parents or guardians are required to list approved transportation providers before the school year starts.

“We deal with those issues from time to time when somebody shows up to pick a child up [from school] and they’re not authorized to get the child, and that is based on when the child is registered into the school,” Pettit said. “[For example], if there are divorced parents we get information about who can pick up [the child].”

Calls to Harper were not returned at press time.