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Michigan School Bus Driver Concerned About Returning to Work During Pandemic

The beginning of the school year has arrived for the students attending Portage Public Schools in Michigan, located 57 miles south of Grand Rapids, and Valerie Glasscock is feeling anxious about returning for her ninth year as a school bus driver for the district, reported WWMT.

Glasscock wonders if the students will adhere to the rules regarding social distancing.

“There’s no way to socially distance 50 children on a bus, let alone 70 which is the potential,” she told WWMT.“Are they going to keep their masks on? Are they going to be rebellious and say ‘I’m not going to wear my mask today?’ There [are] lots of concerns on that end as well.”

Glasscock also says she is a caretaker for her grandmother and voiced her concerns about exposing a family member to the virus, which is reportedly shared by many other drivers in the district.

The West Michigan district is offering in-person learning options despite the COVID-19 pandemic and has seen at least four drivers leave this school year because of pandemic related concerns.

Portage school district will be providing masks for bus drivers, hand sanitizer on school buses, and regular sanitation of frequently touched areas. The drivers will also be required to create seating charts for the students on their route so that if a student does test positive for the virus any contact can be traced.

Despite the measures and guidelines that have been implemented to provide a safer return for students, Glasscock says she is concerned that it won’t be enough to stop the spread of the virus.

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