A city woman criticized district officials at this month’s Carbondale Area School Board meeting, questioning why her child and four other children were recently left stranded at a bus stop.


A city woman criticized district officials at this month’s Carbondale Area School Board meeting, questioning why her child and four other children were recently left stranded at a bus stop.
Melissa Brenzel, Powderly St., noted that a district school bus was involved in an accident on Gordon Ave. at around 6:30 a.m. on March 1.  She stated that the five students were supposed to be picked up at 7:10 a.m., but waited until 7:50 a.m. without the bus showing up or any information being provided. 
She said she first called the district at 7:20 a.m. to find out where the bus was, or if it was coming at all.
“I was told that it would be there shortly,” Brenzel related.
After waiting another half hour, she said she called the district again and spoke to Kim Michalek, the assistant business manager.
“At that point, I was told there would be no bus,” Brenzel recounted.
She said she ended up driving three of the students to school and the district crossing guard transported the other two.
Brenzel expressed outrage at how poorly she said the situation was handled, stating that the bus driver didn’t follow proper procedure once the accident occurred.
“First of all, 911 should have been called, then the bus company should have been called, and then the school district,” she offered.
Brenzel also blasted district officials for their response, and she said the whole episode has left her shaken.
“How do I feel safe with my kid on that bus?” she asked.
Director Diane Harrity agreed, telling Brenzel that the district has requested a report on the incident from transportation coordinator John Wansacz.
“It hasn’t been filed yet,” she noted of the report, “but I will keep on it until we do get that report.”
Director Tracey Andrews, a school bus driver herself, said she was upset that she contacted district superintendent Dr. Dominick Famularo at 8:15 a.m. on the morning in question and he didn’t know anything at all about the incident.
“Why didn’t you know about it at eight-fifteen?”  she questioned him.
Famularo said he couldn’t help the fact that he hadn’t been notified earlier.
“I hadn’t been informed about it at that time,” he explained.
Andrews insisted that the directors form a committee to adopt a policy for emergency situations so they can vote on the policy at their April meeting and have it implemented.
“Procedures are supposed to be in place so children are protected,” she offered.
After the meeting, Andrews assured the NEWS that an emergency policy will be drawn up for the April meeting.
“There will definitely be a policy before the next meeting so we can vote on it then,” she stated.