26 Tacoma school bus drivers call in sick again; special needs students without transportation

TACOMA, Wash. -- More than two dozen Tacoma school bus drivers called in sick Tuesday morning, leaving hundreds of special needs students without a bus ride to school.

Tacoma Public Schools spokesman Dan Voelpel said 26 bus drivers participated in Day 2 of the "sick out." That's two more than the 24 who called in sick on Monday.

It's still unclear why the bus drivers are calling in sick en masse. Q13 News reached out on Monday to Operating Engineers Local 286, the union, that represents the bus drivers. They declined an interview and did not answer any questions.

These drivers are employed by the district and are separate from the drivers contracted through First Student, the company that provides bus services to most Tacoma students.

They serve special needs students, Vopel said.

The district's bus drivers transport about 750 students every day, Vopel said. Roughly half of those students were not brought to school by bus on Monday, he said.

Parents were left scrambling on Monday to get their children to school, and it appears they'll have to do the same thing today.