CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield middle school parent is frustrated and concerned for her daughter’s safety after she says she was told to sit in a booster seat on the bus.
8News spoke with mother, Brittany Collins-Bell, after she learned her Matoaca Middle School sixth grader had been told to sit in a safety restraint on the bus since the beginning of the school year.
Last year, the regional Head Start office requested Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) to install the safety restraints for the nearly 200 3-year-old and 4-year-old students enrolled in the early childhood program. Collins-Bell says she couldn’t understand why the driver didn’t remove the seat and told her 12-year-old to sit in the seat.
According to Head Start, bus monitors are trained how to use child safety restraint systems and any special equipment.
“They can be a great benefit. But obviously when they’re not used properly, they can also cause major harm in an accident. And that’s just a scary thought,” said Collins-Bell.
A CCPS spokesperson told 8News, “this issue has been resolved and the seats are now being removed to accommodate students who are not required to use the seats.”
“I really just want other parents to be aware that their kids could have been in that same situation and been forced to sit in these seats and unsafely and who knows what else. You know, high school and middle school kids sitting in safety seats is insane,” said Collins-Bell. “What is the follow up look like for this? Like, if they’re still continuing to do these checks, what does that look like? Where’s the accountability at in all of this? And who is going to take responsibility of allowing this to go on for so long?
8News asked CCPS what is being done to prevent this from happening again and if the driver is facing any consequences. We did not receive an answer before the publication of this story.