BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Facebook live video by a bus driver has been shared thousands of times and grabbed the attention of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System's Superintendent Warren Drake.
"This is disgusting. I will not drive it," said Octavia Cade in a Facebook live video recorded Thursday.
Cade is a second-year bus driver for EBR schools. Cade wanted to point out the deplorable conditions of some school buses.
"I need my job, but I'm not going to subject myself to unsafe or health hazard situations. I'm not, nor should the children, be subjected to it," said Cade.
Cade said she told her supervisors Monday and Tuesday about the condition of her bus and, getting nowhere, she warned them she would go public and she kept her promise on Thursday.
Cade pointed out exposed wiring on a bus.
"The seats are up off the bus. Look at that, look at that and they want me to drive it," said Cade. "Your children are going to ride this bus if I take this bus. He just stated that my oil and water was gushing out when he started and they want me to take this bus home and pick up the children come Wednesday morning. Get out of here. You wouldn't put your own children on the bus."
"I will be quite honest with you. That is not acceptable for us. We're not going to put any children in a bus that looks like that or is not safe for children to ride in," said Drake.
Drake said he called Cade Thursday night and Friday morning, and asked her to remove her video because she got her point across.
Drake then explained that when Cade went to pick up her bus from the storage lot, she was told to take it to maintenance first.
"We have about 675 buses and those buses are all picked up at the storage lot and then they're taken to the mechanic shop to be fixed, cleaned, whatever needs to happen before they're put on the road," said Drake.
It's been a challenge for the system. Drake said 165 buses flooded last year. Of those, 115 were deemed lost. The rest only flooded to the tires and he said they were refurbished and are back in circulation.
Drake said all buses are checked for safety and sanitation before they're put in rotation and anyone with problems is asked to reach out to their supervisors.