Hundreds of school bus drivers did not show up for work Thursday morning after calling in sick to protest requested changes that have not been implemented by the DeKalb County School District's Board member and superintendent.
More 'sick out' days could be happening on Friday.
DeKalb County School District Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green, along with other district officials, held a press conference addressing the absence of bus drivers on Thursday, April 19. Green released the following statement:
"The DeKalb County School District’s first priority will always be the safety its students. To those bus drivers who performed their duties today, who assured such safety was maintained, thank you. You have shown the district good faith in addressing your concerns without sacrificing your duty.
To those who opted not to come to work today—you have willingly put our students in harm’s way. This is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Also, per Georgia law, it is illegal for any public employee to “promote, encourage, or participate in any strike.” The district would be will within its rights to take adverse employment action against any driver who participates in a “sick-out,” as opposed to being absent for legitimately being too ill to report to work.
For every day missed by bus drivers, a doctor’s note will be required.
We have received reports that employees within the Transportation Department are being threatened, harassed, and/or bullied. Per board policy, this type of behavior by any employee of the district will not be tolerated. Alleged violations of this policy will be investigated and, what it is determined that a violation has occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
Again, our first priority is, has been, and always will be the safety of our students. To assure such safety, it requires everyone to work together toward a common goal. At DeKalb County School District, that goal is deep teaching and learning. Today's actions have proven that we will maintain that goal regardless of the adversity of a select few."