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School bus becomes stuck on icy road in Franklin

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By Ryan Ermanni
Fox 2 News

FRANKLIN, Mich. (WJBK) -- A fairly routine morning for students at West Maple Elementary became anything but as a school bus carrying nine students was stuck on an icy road in Franklin.

No one was injured, but it was certainly a frightening incident that was extended to parents of the students involved.

"I sent a note to my daughter's teacher, my daughter's in third grade, to tell her that Gabriella's going to stay late after school, she shouldn't get on the bus on the way home," said Ed Saenz.  "The teacher sent me a note back that says that's fine, but Gabriella's not here.  That's about as distressing as it gets.  I called my wife to say isn't Gabriella at school?  She says, yeah, I put her on the bus myself."

The communication process between the school and the parents wasn't exactly timely.  Once that bus got stuck, it was over an hour before the parents of the students involved were notified.

"We found out a good hour and a half after school started that the bus had slid off the road in very slick roads and that the principal herself was dispatched to go pick them up," Saenz said.

After being notified, Saenz went to the school to check on his daughter.

"I decided not to talk to Gabriella about it too much.  I just asked her if she was okay.  I asked her if her friends were okay and if she was fine and ready to go back to school and she was.  She's a tough kid.  My problem is more with the notification and communication process that left the principal, the teacher, the parents and I'm not sure at what point the administration of the schools all out of the loop," he said.

The administrative offices of Birmingham Public Schools declined comment.

The principal of West Maple Elementary would not speak about the incident publicly, but the superintendent did speak with parents.

"I've spoken with the superintendent of the schools and he says an investigation is underway.  It's not that the accident was terrible, but the notification process needs some improvement all the way around between the schools and parents, the transportation department and the schools, the principal and the teacher, all those communication processes need work," said Saenz.

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