24 Tacoma school bus drivers call in sick Monday, leaving some parents scrambling

TACOMA, Wash. -- Some special needs students in Tacoma are without a bus ride to school Monday morning after nearly half of the district's 56 drivers called in sick.

Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel confirmed that 24 drivers employed by the district are out sick. Those drivers are employed by the district and are separate from the drivers contracted through First Student, the company that provides bus services to most Tacoma students.

The 24 drivers who called in sick serve special needs students.

An audio recording sent to some parents Monday morning said the district is unable to provide transportation for students today.


"If you wish your student to attend school today, you will need to provide your own transportation," the message said.

Vopel said some drivers are doubling up their routes, which means that some of those students will have rides on the bus, but they'll be late getting picked up.

The district's bus drivers transport about 750 students every day, Vopel said. Roughly half of those students were not brought to school by bus on Monday, he said.