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Houston Bus Drivers Strand Kids on Coldest Day of the Year

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While nearby Katy ISD has struggled unsuccessfully to attract enough bus drivers to handle its routes under its present schedule, Houston ISD had its own special set of problems Thursday morning when some aggrieved bus drivers there stayed home -- stranding hundreds of students in the cold.

As protests go, it wasn't the sort designed to warm anyone's heart, mind or body, although it certainly got the district's attention.

As the HISD press office tells it, the school district had scheduled a hearing for 9:30 a.m. with the drivers today to discuss their grievances -- after the drivers would have deposited all the students on their runs at their respective schools.

This didn't go over well with the drivers group and according to HISD:

"Late Wednesday night, more than 100 drivers notified the district that they did not intend to report for duty on Thursday morning because of the hearing. District officials then decided Wednesday night to postpone Thursday's hearing to avoid disruptions to students' pickup schedules.

"The district then made late-night phone calls to drivers who had said they would not report for duty to notify them that the grievance hearing was being rescheduled."

Alas, this maneuver wasn't greeted with a round of applause either, and 40 bus routes weren't staffed at all. As a result, "12 of the district's 1,000-plus bus routes arrived at school more than 15 minutes late," an amount HISD termed slightly more than normal.

And whereas normally few students would be heartbroken at missing part of the school day, they'd probably prefer it be in better circumstances.

HISD went on to say that it "respects the rights of all employees and has created a grievance process that is intended to ensure that the important work of educating children continues uninterrupted."

Well that didn't exactly happen Thursday and we're kind of wondering why kids had to be punished in all this.

Here's a video from the Houston ISD transportation department that starts off with these important words: "HISD transportation services believes it's important to ensure students safely arrive to school on time and ready to learn."

Indeed.

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