Water allowed on many area school buses

By Sherea Harris

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County's schools start Wednesday and officials are changing the rules for school bus riders because of the extremely hot temperatures.

Officials want to make sure the students hydrated while on the bus.

So until the weather cools, students will be allowed to take bottled water on the bus. Normally, drinks are not allowed.

In addition, bus drivers are required to open the front and back hatches on the roof to help with air flow.

There are 15 new school buses in use this year. None have air conditioning.

Only the buses for special needs students have air conditioning.

Despite precautions, some parents say they still will not allow their students to ride the bus during these hot days.

"It's too hot," said Darlene Robinson. "They can easily have a heat stroke."

"It's going to be warm on the bus, so kids need to dress appropriately," said Della Baker, Assistant Director of Transportation for Jefferson County Schools. "If you ride on the bus with all the windows down and those hatches up, there is a pretty good bit of air coming through there.  The kids will have water I believe that will help a lot."

Jefferson County School officials stress that only water is allowed. No juice, soda, or any other kind of drink.

Other school systems are keeping hot bus riders in mind as well.

Birmingham, Shelby County, and Hoover are allowing kids to bring bottled water on buses as well.

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