NAACP hosts town hall meeting, bus safety hot topic - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

NAACP hosts town hall meeting, bus safety hot topic

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The Charleston branch of the NAACP held a meeting tonight to offer an open forum for the public to discuss their concerns about Charleston County Schools.

Thursday night's meeting at Morris Brown AME Church had a packed house.

One by one, parents teachers and community leaders made their concerns known.

Pastor Thomas Dixon spoke passionately about his concerns about Durham Bus Services. "There was a meeting last April. Or a year ago - last April. We came to the table with a list of discrepancies. Not only safety violations, but employee problems also. And after being notified of those issues, here we are a year later with some of those same problems."

Problems they say range from over crowded buses to buses without heaters being used to transport kids in freezing weather.

School board member Rev. Chris Collins told the audience he is hearing the concerns. "We've received complaints concerning Durham Bus Transportation Service, that a lot of their buses are raggy and breaking down. When drivers call for service, they're rebuked for it. And they're not supported and they are discouraged from calling."

He says this is something the board needs to discuss again. "We are asking the superintendent to put it on the agenda for our next meeting so that we can discuss it at the school board meeting on April 28 and let's get to the bottom of what's really going on with Durham."

Collins says big changes need to happen. "I want to see them cleanup. Cleanup, shape up or ship out."

Dixon goes even further. "As I pointed out in tonight's meeting, Durham needs to go."

Pastor Dixon said if the school

Board doesn't make a change, voters will. "Come November 5th, when it's voting time on Election Day. We will speak. And we will speak loudly."

Collins says he wants the people who were at Thursday's meeting and anyone else to come voice their opinion about Durham at the board's April 28th meeting.

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