Richmond County Schools not creating 'alternative' for Tubman Education Center

Richmond County Schools not creating 'alternative' for Tubman Education Center

Erika Spencer's son broke the rules at his Richmond County School and was sent to the Tubman Education Center Alternative school.

He's still part of the district, but he's banned from campus and can't go back until he's done his time.

But Spencer says she's doing the time right along with him.

"You have to provide your own transportation for your kid once they get assigned to alternative school."

The Richmond County school district won't bus to or from the alternative school, unless a student is special needs.

Bus regulations on the Tubman Education Center website state, "...Riding the school bus is a privilege.  Improper conduct on the buses will result in that privilege being denied. Only students with disabilities are to ride school buses.  Bus students are to go immediately to the buses as soon as they are dismissed from school in the afternoon."

Richmond County District 8 School Board Representative Jimmy Atkins said he's been on the board nine years and bussing has never been offered during his time.

"It's my understanding that when the alternative school first came about, we did offer busing and those students were just causing multiple problems. So at some point, the board said, if you're sentenced to do time at the alternative school, you lose the privilege to ride the school bus."

Parents like Spencer are challenging the district.

"Because of this, I can't do any of the jobs I have to go to. I have to be there before 7 and I have to be at the alternative school at 7:30, so that's out of the picture. It's cutting into my income."

Atkins said bussing to and from the school would cost them money, too.

"It would come out of the general fund, which gets cut every year by the state."

But he said money isn't the problem.

"A lot of those kids are at the alternative schools because the parents didn't handle the situation the way they should have. Their child went to school and caused a disruption."