You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

DeKalb County: Has your child’s school bus crashed in 2017?

Data: Since January, there have been nearly 60 incidents


Highlights

DeKalb school buses crashed more than 400 times in 2016

Figure is double initial DeKalb report to state officials

No accidents had been reported in 2014, just 2 in 2015

DeKalb County school bus drivers had more than 400 accidents in 2016, according to updated records on bus accidents submitted by the school district to the Georgia Department of Education.

For 2016, the DeKalb County School District reported 432 accidents to state officials, about 1.2 accidents daily. That’s more than any other metro Atlanta school district, according to state data.

INTERACTIVE: HAS YOUR CHILD’S BUS HAD AN ACCIDENT?

Use our locator map below to see which buses have reported incidents in 2017.

  • TELL US: Do you have concerns about your child’s safety on DeKalb’s school buses? Email Marlon A. Walker

Initially, the district reported 206 accidents to the state between July 21 and Dec. 1.

The DeKalb County School District did not report any crashes in 2014 and only two in 2015. It learned of the yearly discrepancies from an inquiry by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

District officials submitted 230 accident reports to the state for 2014 and 267 for 2015 after the discrepancy was discovered.

School districts are required to report every accident within 45 days to the Georgia Department of Education through an online portal. But some districts report crashes sparingly if at all, state officials said. 

District officials said in December that reports would be retroactively submitted to the state to ensure data was as accurate as possible. 

“Since learning that the accidents were not reported in the last two years, we started pulling weekly reports of what is reported to the state,” district officials said in the statement. “A bus accident report is now produced once per week to verify that we are reporting accidents.”

State officials said the data was used to tailor annual required training sessions, but did not offer specifics on how the data impacted training.

In Georgia, school bus drivers can be as young as 18, as long as they have passed a driving skills test and other requirements. Some districts require drivers to be 21 or older. Georgia’s laws do not mention mental health checks.

Concern about school bus safety grew after six Chattanooga elementary school children were killed days before Thanksgiving when a bus driver said he lost control of the vehicle and it flipped, crashing into a utility pole and a tree. Police charged the driver, Johnthony Walker, 24, with vehicular homicide, saying he drove “well above the posted speed limit of 30 mph.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Manslaughter conviction for texts: When do words become crimes?

In a recent legal decision igniting fierce debate, a Massachusetts judge ruled that a teenage girl who texted her boyfriend to follow through on his intent to kill himself was guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The judge did not appear swayed by Michelle Carter’s age at the time, 17, or her own history of eating disorders, suicidal thoughts...
A $2 million grant could transform how Atlanta schools teach reading
A $2 million grant could transform how Atlanta schools teach reading

Atlanta schools will spend $2 million over the next three years to improve one of the school district’s basic functions: teaching kids how to read. In a district where about half of third graders don’t read on grade level, improving reading instruction is essential, superintendent Meria Carstarphen said. Poor reading skills have far-reaching...
New DeKalb Schools students to enroll using online system
New DeKalb Schools students to enroll using online system

The DeKalb County School District is rolling out a new online registration system. Parents of students new to the district will be among the first to try it out. Registration for new students begins July 10. District officials said parents or guardians will navigate through several prompts to enter their students into the system, get accurate school...
Atlanta schools name new chief financial officer
Atlanta schools name new chief financial officer

Atlanta Public Schools executive director of finance Lisa Bracken has been named Atlanta Public Schools' new chief financial officer. Bracken replaces current chief financial officer Robert Morales, who is leaving to take the same role with Fulton County Schools. Bracken holds masters and bachelor's degrees from Georgia State University and previously...
Georgia Center for Early Language and Literacy opens
Georgia Center for Early Language and Literacy opens

A new state center with a mission to improve reading skills of young children by training teachers to teach them officially opened Thursday. The Georgia Center for Early Language and Literacy at Georgia College in Milledgeville is Gov. Nathan Deal’s initiative. He allocated a total of $5.1 million for the center in the 2017 and 2018 state budgets...
More Stories