Letters to the Editor

Bus problem needs attention

I am a concerned parent in the small community of Loris where our kids make a big difference. I have a daughter who attends the Green Sea Head Start, which is funded by the Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council, and there is one problem that hasn't been a priority for this association. The problem is hiring a bus driver for the small Green Sea community route so that those kids can arrive to and from school each day.

The parents of the children on that route are now responsible for taking their children to school and picking them up, which is not a part of the plan in which they enrolled their children at the beginning of the school year. Complaints were voiced within the parent meetings at the Head Start about this issue and still no change.

I decided to attend a board meeting with both WEOC and board members of other schools in which this issue was brought to their attention by our council member who represents our Head Start to everyone there, including Board Chairman Zacharius Grate and Interim Executive Director Wilhelmina Whitfield. Surprisingly, they had an applicant for the bus driver position, but no one had interviewed the person yet. That showed me that they were least concerned about this issue because their children do not have the problem of getting to and from school. It is ridiculous how I witnessed them having over $1.4 million left in their budget for funding and yet they can't seem to produce a driver for a route that has been without a driver for over a month now.

I am a parent that now has to take my child to and from school, and although I am fortunate to be able to do so, some parents are not as fortunate to have the transportation. Meanwhile, our attendance has also dropped due to this issue. It concerns me deeply how this association is already under financial investigation and still cannot get their priorities in line.

I hope this letter can prompt other parents to speak up and speak out to show how important our children's education is. This is a critical time for them to learn, and this transportation issue should not have to interfere with them receiving their education. Maybe this small letter from a parent in a small community can make a big difference in our children's future. We have to be their voices when they can't speak up for themselves. I refuse to sit back and allow funding to be there for our children and let it be taken advantage of, and that's what I feel has happened because no one spoke up and spoke out as much. No issue will ever be resolved if no one addresses it. Change only comes to those who are willing to stand up for it.

The writer lives in Loris.