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School system will not provide busing to Tubman

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 7:40 PM
Last updated 10:31 PM
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The Richmond County Board of Education will not provide transportation to students assigned to the district’s alternative program after a motion to explore options on busing died in the student services committee Tuesday.

Board members said busing students from all over the district to the Walton Way campus would be too costly. They also said free transportation is a privilege that is lost when students misbehave and get assigned to the alternative program.

“Until we get our full funding back, I’m not for adding anything new that costs us money that we can’t sustain,” said board president Venus Cain. “We gave them an option to get free education and transportation. We gave them that option. Children have to understand there are consequences. Parents need to understand there are consequences.”

Students are assigned to the alternative program at the Tubman Education Center on Walton Way when they are found guilty in a tribunal process of breaking the district’s code of conduct. They come from schools across the county and enter at different points throughout the year. Board member Barbara Pulliam requested the issue be placed on Tuesday’s committee agenda after receiving several complaints from parents who do not have a vehicle, the gas money or time to drive their children to the campus. Some also said their child was not attending school because of the lack of busing.

“The purpose of us being here is to educate children,” Pulliam said. “We are not a penal system. If we can’t get them to school, they will not get an education...I don’t think not getting an education should be part of their punishment.”

Board member Patsy Scott made a motion for staff to explore the possibility of busing to Tubman, but none of three board members present on the student services committee supported her motion.

Pulliam, who is not on the committee and could not cast a vote, said she is disappointed the issue will not go to the full board for discussion.

She said students are suffering, especially because Augusta’s public transportation system doesn’t have routes or times that can accommodate students.

Board member Jimmy Atkins said students and parents need to realize the loss of transportation is part of the punishment of suspension.

“I’m just going to have a hard time supporting this for the simple fact that we continue to furlough our employees, we continue to cut instruction days for our students,” Atkins said about the added expense.

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Tots 03/13/13 - 10:35 am

the made the right decision..... Wasn't the child- who's mom was complaining about trainsportation put out of regular school for attacking another student on a bus? If so,they are not allowed on any buses...That's the policy unless you know someone at the B.O.E.

That should say "They" not the.... LOL.. Y'all have a great day,and Peace out :-)

Watermedic 03/13/13 - 06:55 am

Way to go!

fatboyhog 03/13/13 - 07:02 am
Part of the problem

"after receiving several complaints from parents who do not have a vehicle, the gas money or time to drive their children to the campus."

They don't have time to drive their children to campus???? Really??? That's part of the problem. No time for their children. Schools ARE NOT a baby-sitting service. FIND time and you probably won't have to try to find the time taking your brat to alternative school.

nocnoc 03/13/13 - 07:34 am
Finally Something I agree with

that the RC BOE did.

Now if they would only turn over student drug dealers, weapons carriers, teacher assaulting students to the RCSO for criminal arrest.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/13/13 - 10:42 am

I am normally critical of what RCBOE does; but here is one time they got it right, and for the right reason. I hope Ms. Pulliam does not go and try to undermine this committee's decision. I have no problem with her advocating her position, but now that the decision has been made it is time to move on to other issues.

The way I read the tribunal reports in the Chronicle, sending the kids to alternative school is an option that the board gives the parents. The parents do not have to send them to alternative school if they don't want to.

ERH101 03/13/13 - 06:35 pm

I am reading all of the comments and I find it very disturbing that you think it is justifiable to allow our youth to be thrown to the wolves because they are sent to an alternative school. First of all, just because a child has been sent to an alternative school does not mean that he or she is a product of bad parenting. Some parent(s), whether they are single or married, are doing the best that they know how to raise their children; however, today our youth are faced with so much negativity and pressure, it is like parents are fighting a losing battle. It is our duty to help our children as much as we can in order for them to be successful. Alternative school is not jail!!! It was designed to help our troubled youth. You people are acting as if you have never made mistakes when you were younger. WAY TO GO MRS. PULLIAM!!!! Someone needs to fight for our kids!!!

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