Forrest County school bus accident has parents concerned

BROOKLYN, MS (WDAM) - A Forrest County school bus accident that happened Tuesday afternoon involving students from Forrest County Agricultural High School and South Forrest Attendance Center has several parents concerned.

"We did have a minor accident where a bus and a car side swiped each other on a small rural road down in south Forrest County," said Forrest County School District Superintendent Brian Freeman.

Tera Kendrick and Billie Dearman said they were not notified immediately that their children's school bus had been involved in an accident.

"We knew nothing," said Kendrick. "All they said was they had a minor incident, they didn't tell us they were in  a wreck, they didn't tell us if they had run off the road, they didn't tell us if the kids were sick, they didn't tell us anything."

"We want to know that we're going to be notified, not twenty four hours after the accident but immediately by the school officials," said Dearman.

According to Dearman, she found out about the accident through her niece.

"She called me from the accident because several of the little kids were upset," said Dearman. "She didn't know what to do so she was having me calm them down."

This is one incident Freeman said will be looked at for improvements.

"We look at our procedures and see if there are more things that we can do to notify parents," said Freeman. "There was a small incident that we've addressed and continue to look and see how we can make that communication piece with parents even more effective."

Aside from communication, parents say students weren't given proper medical evaluations.

"Two of my children when they got home were hurt," said Dearman. "One was complaining of chest pains and one was complaining that his neck and shoulder hurt so I took them to the hospital and one has bruised ribs and one has a pulled muscle in his neck."

"From the protocol that I've learned through driving the bus, the law comes and the medical professionals come," said Kendrick. "They check every child and then they release them."

Though according to the district, the students were checked.

"The sheriff's department was called there, the sheriff deputy and our transportation director and staff was there with the bus driver, they checked the children out as far as no one claimed to be injured of any kind," said Freeman. 

Overall, Freeman wants to ensure parents that the safety of the students is their number one priority.

"We want our parents to know that safety is our concern and we're going to get them to and from school as safe as possible," said Freeman. "We're going to look at every situation and make sure it makes us better as a district."

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