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Snow-Altered School Bus Routes Cause Concern In Fairfax

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The condition of some roads in Fairfax County has forced school bus drivers to alter routes, leaving some parents concerned about young children.
Jonathan Wilson
The condition of some roads in Fairfax County has forced school bus drivers to alter routes, leaving some parents concerned about young children.

By Jonathan Wilson

The historic snow storms may be over for now, but there's plenty of snow still left on the ground, and it's still causing problems for buses trying to take children to and from school.

JCecil Richardson's two daughters usually get dropped off by their school bus just a short ways from their front door. But on the first day back to school after last week's blizzard, buses still couldn't make it down the Richardson's road in Springfield.

"So they dropped all the children off, a little more than half a mile away from the bus stop, and let them walk home," says Richardson.

Richardson says this wouldn't have been a problem if he and his wife had been notified. The school left a message on their home voicemail in the afternoon but both parents were at work.

Richardson says it just wasn't safe.

"These aren't high school kids, these are elementary school kids," he says.

Paul Regnier, a spokesman for Fairfax County Public Schools, says the district did try to notify parents of altered bus routes. But he acknowledges that the communication could have been better. He says some bus drivers also made their own decisions about which roads were safe to pass.

"We apologize to the parents for this happening," he says. "I hope that everybody can recognize, we're doing the best we can," Regnier says.

Richardson says on Wednesday the school bus was a bit late, but it did come all the way down his street.

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