While the nationwide bus-driver shortage has forced some districts to cancel field trips or even in-class learning, one Boston school came up with an unexpected, and amusing, solution.
According to MassLive.com, juniors at Brooke Charter Schools took a party bus on a recent class trip for their AP Language & Composition class. Their teacher Jim Mayers addressed the “funny” situation in a since-deleted tweet last Friday, explaining he and school officials had to get resourceful to ensure students had a fun day.
“It is a funny story, but there actually is a real bus shortage and it speaks to major flaws in our education system,” Mayers wrote. “This in no way is a reflection of anyone involved in planning the trip, we were trying to have a fun day with the kids and that’s exactly what happened. And when you promise hundreds of kids a fun day with their advisories, you make it happen.”
MassLive.com reports the party bus was equipped with neon lights and the customary stripper pole. And although it wasn’t the most conventional form of transportation for a field trip, Mayers said the students didn’t mind.
“They didn’t really care about the bus, and a lot of great planning by a lot of great people made for a fantastic day,” he continued.
According to CBS affiliate WBZ, Massachusetts schools are struggling to retain and hire staff for the 2021-22 academic year. There is a noticeable shortage in teachers, cafeteria workers, and custodians, but the biggest issue appears to be the lack of certified bus drivers.
“School bus drivers don’t grow on trees,” said John McCarthy, CEO of NRT Bus, one of the largest school transportation providers in Massachusetts. “They are highly trained at what they do. It’s hard enough to take care of their own kids, never mind 72 kids on a regular basis.”
Mayers has since taken to Twitter to shed more light on the issue plaguing U.S. schools, saying he hopes his original tweet will prompt officials and community members to take a serious look at the “overall infrastructure of our education system,” and explore why certain schools are prioritized over others.
“I’m worried that there is too much attention being paid to the tweet itself, or simply the fact that it went viral, instead of attending to the many systemic issues that are facing not just my students, but students all across the country,” he wrote in a lengthy message.