Safety concerns after photo surfaces of Hopkins children packed onto a school bus

Posted at 9:05 PM, Oct 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-10 21:05:19-04

HOPKINS, Mich. - A photo taken on a school bus in Hopkins was posted to Facebook Friday morning, showing kids squeezed together like sardines.  Several parents are now raising safety concerns/

The photo was taken by a student during a bus ride to the Hopkins Vocational Technical Program. Many kids are sitting three to a seat, while others are sitting in the aisles and covering up emergency exits.

We asked The Hopkins Superintendent, Gary Wood, 'Have the students been piling on the bus like this since the beginning of the school year?'

"Yeah, I guess," said Wood. "Since they all have to get on the bus to go to the tech center."

Despite how packed the bus seems in the photo with 62 children riding on it, the maximum capacity for is 77 children.

Wood said he was unaware of this ongoing problem.

"If it’s been going on, I wasn’t aware of it," said Wood.

Jon Tew, Hopkins Transportation Supervisor, said he's been aware of the issue since the beginning of the school year.

"I mean the reality of it right now is that we’ve done a lot of budget cuts in the last year and to add another bus was something I was trying not to do."

Hopkins cut two bus routes last year and adding another bus will cost $7,000.

Tew apologized for not communicating with Wood about how packed the buses have been, which is something Wood wants to fix.

"We wanna make sure our kids are safe and we’ll do what it takes when we transport them," said Wood.

FOX 17 is going to stay on top of this story to let you know what changes are made to the school's transportation policy.