Viewer concerned about lock on the back of school bus | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mike the landscaper was driving on Rogero Road at Fort Caroline Road on Wednesday afternoon when he snapped a picture of a school bus with a padlock on the back emergency door.
"Something needs to be done, or looked into," he said.
He sent the photos to his friend Deborah, a mother of a 10-year-old daughter. She forwarded them to First Coast News.
"As a parent, I am very upset. I want something done about it. What if something happened and those children needed to get off that bus?"
Turns out the bus belongs to Arlington Kindergarten and had picked up kids at Fort Caroline Elementary.
Sandy Carroll has been driving the bus there for 31 years. She has always let children in the back door to go open the front door and then she would put the lock on the dash while driving the bus.
Carroll said she learned something two weeks ago when she had to get a new starter put on the bus that led to a change of her routine.
"Now that we learned two weeks ago that there is this little knob that pops it open, we have been using that," she said. "When i got off yesterday, I noticed when I went to lock the bus I had accidentally left it on there. I vividly remember walking around and saying, 'Oh my goodness, I left the lock on the door,' I know very well it is not supposed to be on there."
Carroll said she keeps the back door locked to keep out homeless people who have used her bus to sleep and eat in at night and take items from the bus. While First Coast News was there, Carroll took the lock off the back of the bus and threw it in the trash can so she won't forget again.
"The children's safety is far more important than replacing a fire extinguisher or someone eating on the bus or sleeping on the bus, or stealing the first aid kid. Their safety is far more important."
A check of state records shows Arlington kindergarten has had no violations recently.