Cherry Creek Schools bus driver turns whistleblower

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. -- A Cherry Creek Schools bus driver who wants to remain unknown has a clear message.

There is a grave shortage of school bus drivers.

"We're so short right now that we have mechanics doing routes with children on the bus that have no training with the children at all." said the driver, who wanted to be known as Pat.

Pat said this shortage of qualified drivers almost put some kids in danger.

Their bus was in a minor accident, but had to wait for personnel from the Cherry Creek safety and training office for almost an hour.

"That's because safety and training were all out driving regular routes, that these children had to sit in that bus for up to an hour," Pat said.

The lack of bus drivers is not unique to Cherry Creek.

"There is a shortage of bus drivers not just in Cherry Creek but statewide and nationwide," district spokeswoman Tustin Amole said.

She admits Cherry Creek is understaffed by about 80 drivers.  And, yes, mechanics and supervisors have been driving routes.

"Colorado currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. And when that happens, it's extremely difficult to find bus drivers." Amole said.

Pat will continue to drive for Cherry Creek Schools and says it's a good job. If only more people shared that view.

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