Boston students ride party bus to field trip due to school bus shortage

National

School buses parked in Helena, Mont., ahead of the beginning of the school year, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. School districts across the country are coping with a shortage of bus drivers, a dilemma that comes even as they struggle to start a new school year during a new surge of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Iris Samuels)

BOSTON (AP) — A group of high school students in Massachusetts had to ride on a party bus complete with a stripper pole and neon lights during a recent field trip — an experience their teacher said highlights problems with the education system.

Jim Mayers, an 11th grade Advanced Placement language and composition teacher at the Brooke Charter School in Boston, said in the since-deleted tweet that the original charter bus had fallen through, Masslive.com reported Monday.

“It is a funny story, but there actually is a real bus shortage and it speaks to major flaws in our education system,” he said, adding that the field trip was a success.

He is now using the attention he’s getting because of the original tweet to urge people to better understand educational inequities and other problems facing the nation’s schools.

“I’m worried that there is too much attention being paid to the tweet itself, or simply the fact that it went viral, instead of attending to the many systemic issues that are facing not just my students, but students all across the country,” he wrote in a follow up tweet.

For example, districts across the nation are struggling to hire enough drivers to shuttle kids to school, and some states have become creative, including Massachusetts, which is enlisting National Guard members to drive school transport vans.

His original tweet, he wrote, was just meant give his fellow teachers a laugh.

“If it’s gotten people to talk about the overall infrastructure of our education system, and the different ways schools are prioritized, then that’s good too,” he wrote.

He then urged readers to attend their next local school board meeting or read up on the topic.

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