HOUSTON - Houston ISD bus drivers are seeking answers when it comes to the safety of everyone on the bus and the staff shortage.
For millions of children, the start of their school day begins with a step on the school bus.
That simple encounter could be dangerous amid the rapid rise in the COVID 19 delta variant.
"My bus drivers are very concerned. They are very concerned because they have a job to do to get the kids home safely and back home," said Wretha Rawls Thomas, the head of the Houston USD Bus Driver’s Union.
Thomas says they are requesting the district extend their mandatory mask requirement proposal to the buses.
Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II sides with the union telling us he is recommending everyone in HISD schools and on buses be required to wear a mask. The board is expected to vote on that recommendation Thursday.
"I feel a little better if we can get that passed where the kids will have to wear a mask coming in on the bus. I am working with the special needs kids also and at a certain age, any child that is under 12 years old and not vaccinated has a worry factor from me because of me and my family and my work family," said Cynthia Barnett, an HISD bus attendant.
Thomas says she is making sure her 950+ drivers are protected.
"We are talking to all of our drivers to make sure if anyone needs a vaccine, they can call our office and we will provide one. We will even take them to their house if needed. That shows, we feel, the importance of being vaccinated."
Next week, the bus drivers are supposed to return back to work to go through their routes and see how they are going to deal with the shortage of bus drivers.
Thomas says they usually have about 1,200 people on their staff and currently have about 980 drivers and attendants.