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Students tussle for bus seats

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Students travelling to Nakasuk School by bus are fighting for space during each of four daily trips – forcing about 10 students to sit on the floor at any one time because there aren’t enough seats, Principal Michael Luedicke told members of the Iqaluit District Education Authority on Monday.

Last year, Nakasuk was served by three school buses. This year, the number of buses was reduced to two because one bus had only a few kids.

But there isn’t room for those kids on the two remaining buses, which each have a capacity of 72 students.

“The bus usually has more than 72,” Luedicke said. “Right now, that bus is operating illegally.”

Tim Neily, a member of the IDEA, said the contractor may not have had enough drivers to operate three buses for Nakasuk School, in addition to two for Joamie School.

“They just don’t have the drivers. They’ve had to take mechanics out of the shop – and they’re driving the buses,” Neily said.

Luedicke said the additional bus should be classified as an expense created by the fire at Joamie School, and should be paid for by the department of education.

“The reason we have the overcrowded bus is because of the Joamie situation,” he said.

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