Anne Arundel County parents say some students forced to sit on floor of overcrowded school bus

Some parents in Anne Arundel County say their children were forced to sit on the floor of their school bus after seats were removed to accommodate students with disabilities who use wheelchairs.

FOX 5's Bob Barnard spoke with Charles Jones, a former police officer whose son took video of students seated on the floor of the bus after being picked up in Odenton on the way to Arundel High School.

"It's a big safety issue," Jones told Barnard. "As a former police officer I know that if there's an impact – or any kind of accident – they're not going to survive. If they do they're going to be injured severely."

Jones said his son is in the tenth grade at Arundel High School and captured the images Tuesday morning. He said he immediately called county offices, the school and the transportation department – but got nowhere.

Bob Mosier, Chief Communications Officer for Anne Arundel County Public Schools said the issue will be resolved Wednesday. He released the following statement:

"As is the case in almost every school system in the opening days of the school year, our Transportation Department continues to work on route adjustments for buses that are overcrowded and/or undercrowded. In addition to those regular adjustments, we have had reports of students who are not eligible bus riders going to stops and getting on buses and bus riders who are not sitting three students to a seat (buses can be routed to this capacity), thus forcing others to be in the bus aisles. We are addressing these issues on a route-by-route basis."

Bus overcrowding is not a new issue in Anne Arundel County. In 2019, FOX 5's Josh Rosenthal was in Odenton where overcrowded buses forced students to stand in the aisles.