Our Children are not safe under the supervision Carmen Hays and her staff at first student - First Student

Branch / Location of Complaint: First Student Montrose, CO
Address: 1002 Colorado Ave Montrose, Colorado 81401-4891
Phone: 970-249-8233

When I moved to the area I was told the bus would not pick up or drop off my child because we lived “out of area”; however, I noticed bus 3 coming to and from the school only seconds from our home. I phoned 1st student and I asked if my child could ride that bus; the answer was “no but there was a bus that picked up and dropped off right on my street.” I was very confused and made sure they understood the house address and the school my baby girl of only 7 went to.

Again; the answer was “yes bus 31 would be at James and Kent to pick up my second grader and bring her to Cottonwood elem. at 7:40am, in addition the same bus would drop her off at 3:31 at James and Kent”. I was still unsure and asked to speak to someone else in the office; the second person told me the same as the first.

Therefore, come the next day I put my child on the bus I was told to put her on, which was bus 31 at 7:40 am on James and Kent with the provided paperwork from the bus driver stating her school and our information. I was still feeling unsettled about the situation and phoned the bus office after my child was on the bus. It was around 8am when I had the bus office on the phone again, at this point they phoned the bus driver who informed them the bus was not going to bring my daughter to school and she had been taken to the high school.

Moreover, he did not even have Cottonwood as a drop off location.

She is 7 years old and new to the town; she was very frightened. While the bus driver eventually brought her to her school (late) I was on the phone with the supervisor here in Montrose to express my concerns. At this point I was very upset and instead of helping the situation or apologizing, the supervisor instead screamed and yelled at me, made me feel stupid, band my daughter from ever riding the bus, called the elementary school and told them my daughter was also at fault and talked very bad about me.

I volunteer at the school and am very unhappy about the entire situation. I would like some closure on this situation. I did not deserve to be treated as poor and unfair as I was treated by the supervisor, Carmen Hays, when looking for answers to why her office staff did not know what they were doing and causing a huge safety concern. In addition; when I called back and asked for the corporate office phone number I was told no, they would not provide that information. However, after much searching I was able to contact 1st student in Cincinnati, where the corporate office is located, and where I am still waiting for some kind of resolution.

However, when I phoned them today to follow up from my initial complaint in December, they gave me the run around and have not taken any steps to address my concerns. In addition, after speaking with other parents this issue seems to be ongoing with the way the first student office in Montrose handle complaints from parents when their children are being brought to random destinations. I have even contacted the school superintendent and ask him to set up a meeting where Carmen can address my safety concerns and assure me that my child will never get brought to the wrong school again but she refuses to meet with me.

Please help!!!

After I sent this email to the news station I was interviewed and put on tv/internet:

Posted: Fri 10:28 PM, Feb 01, 2013A A Reporter: Alex Hambrick Email
Updated: Fri 11:05 PM, Feb 01, 2013Back to HomePage
Mom refuses to send kids on bus without piece of mind

Mom, Tori Johnson didn’t want her daughter to switch schools twice in one year, that means her daughter is outside the bus route for her school. Johnson said she was told there was an alternative, but after her daughter got lost in the bus system, she wants an apology and some piece of mind before trusting them with her little one again.

“I’m crying, my daughter is seven, she was brought to the wrong school and instead of them saying Ma’m I’m sorry we’ll make sure that doesn’t happen again, she yelled at me,” said Johnson. “And treats me like I did something wrong and then calls the school, has the school call me, and ban my baby from the bus.”

Now, Johnson drives her two kids to school each day but hopes to get something resolved with the First Student bus company soon.

Spokes person for the company said Johnson needs to fill out a space available form before being allowed on the new bus.

“Other students and other families, who have completed the space available form who may live outside of the route, and their children have transportation without incident,” said Maureen Richmond, First Student spokes person.

Johnson said she sent her daughter with a form the day she was taken to the wrong school.

“So I wrote down my name our phone number, my daughters name, our address and the school and walked her to the bus,” said Johnson.

Richmond encourages any concerned parents to contact their local office.

“Go to our local team and they can help make sure everything is taken care of efficiently,” said Richmond.
by Anonymous on Feb 1, 2013 at 10:31 PM
I think you mean “peace” of mind. ?

Also on tv/internet for first student was
Maureen Richmond, the spokes person for 1st student, who said “go to local team and they would make sure things were taken care of efficiently”. And also spoke about paper work; however, did not mention the behavior of first student when they lost my child or the behavior of Carmen Hays when she was confronted with the fact her team lost my child.

comment on web site to interview
by TORI on Feb 5, 2013 at 07:48 PM 
First student’s response and only response is by Maureen Richmond the spokes person for 1st student saying “go to the local team if we have any concerns as parents and they would make sure things were taken care of efficiently” really MAYBE SHE DIDNT HEAR ME; the local team aka Carmen Hays and her team is the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so now what?????? AND still no one taking responsibility for telling me to put my child on the wrong bus.

~I also left message for Carmen hays at this time asking if Jade could ride the bus and reminded her the only paperwork provided to me was turned in.

by TORI on Feb 6, 2013 at 08:51 AM
Update: I have called and left another message for Carmen Hays, the supervisor for first student in Montrose, CO.; however, she has not returned my call. The message was asking if my child may ride the bus, the same bus that her school friends ride that also live on our street and in addition I reminded her that the “paperwork” was turned in around the month of September when this all started. Hope I don’t go into labor while waiting for her to do her job. How she still has a job; well ????????????

~Then called and lm for Maureen Richmond @ 513-362-4600
reminding her what she said on tv which was “go to local team and they would make sure things were taken care of efficiently” then stated I followed that advise; however, the local office was not responding to me and asked her to further advise providing my information for a return phone call.

~ 2/6/13
I phoned first student again and asked where the mistake was, why they told me to put my daughter on a bus that had no intention of going to her school. I asked if there was a change in the bus route or was this a new bus; etc…. However, again they did not take responsibility and told me to contact Maureen or the media. Moreover, they told me that the paperwork the bus driver gave us was not the “correct” paperwork. So, Montrose first student can’t provide the correct paperwork or bus routes and when questioned they deny or exhibit rude and inappropriate behavior to the public and we are suppose to trust them to keep our children safe. This is a true shame!

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