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Parents upset about early school bus pickup

The students get on the bus before 5:30 a.m., then sit at the school for 30 minutes until the doors open
October 10, 2013 3:16:40 PM PDT
A group of Wake County parents frustrated over their children's excessively early bus ride to school turned to ABC11 for help.

One mother emailed us after she said several complaints filed with the school district failed to yield any results.

Ray Perkins and Deborah Kyea-Lavalley both have daughters who wake up well before the sun rises just to catch their bus to Middle Creek High School.

"She's actually the seventh stop, so that means there are other people getting on the bus at 5 in the morning, she gets on around 5:25, 5:30," Perkins said.

Parents say being picked up before 5:30 a.m. is way too early, and it's nearly two hours before school starts.

"It is truly a disturbance to the family, because these children are getting up at 4:50 a.m. and they're making for a 10 hour day," said Kyea-LaValley.

When kids add after-school activities and homework into the mix, there isn't much time left for a full night's sleep.

The parents say one of their biggest complaints is that their children arrive at the school nearly half an hour before the school's doors open.

"When they get to school, they sit there and they turn the bus off. Right now it's getting cooler, but in November and December when it's 15 degrees, and we dealt with this last year, they turn the bus off and they have to just sit there for 25-30 minutes," Perkins said.

The school district says this bus driver has two other routes after the one for Middle Creek High School, and needs to be first in the bus line at the school in order to get out in time.

As for the parents' request for a later pickup time, the Wake County Public Schools System released this statement:

"With a district as large as Wake County's, it is a challenge to meet all specific family needs, but we review all concerns as expediently as possible."

They added that transportation officials are working with school leadership to determine if a solution can be found at the school level. The school system says they are reviewing the case and they should have some sort of an answer in the next five days.

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