LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – 21 out of 300 bus drivers did not report for work Friday, the Livingston Parish Public School Systems said.

According to the school board, the bus drivers didn’t run their routes as part of a protest for less work and higher pay. The absences mainly impacted the Livingston and Walker communities, which accounted for 19 of the 21 absences.

Superintendent Joe Murphy said the district was able to fill one of the absent bus driver’s routes with another driver and that existing drivers were available to cover some of the abandoned routes.

“Where routes could not be covered, the schools contacted parents to make arrangements for those children to be picked up, or in some cases, have another school employee transport them home with parental permission,” Murphy said.

Some drivers sent messages to the parents of the children who ride their buses through the district’s “Remind” system.

The school board says that none of the drivers contacted the district administration to report their absence or to formally file a reason for their absence.

“No child was left unattended,” Murphy said. “At every affected campus, our school administrators and teachers stayed with those students until proper transportation was available either by being picked up by a family member or by being transported home by a school official.”

Murphy said that some bus drivers won’t be reporting for work on Oct. 24.

To address this threat, our district transportation staff and our school leaders will be contacting all our Driver Team leaders to determine how many bus routes might be affected on Monday, and from there we will determine if those routes can be appropriately covered by other drivers. If there are cases where that is not possible, our school principals will contact parents Sunday evening to make them aware of the situation,” said Murphy. “I want to thank those drivers and our employees who worked with our children and our parents to ensure every child impacted by these absent bus drivers was accounted for, was kept safe and was ultimately delivered home.”

Livingston Parish Public School Schools Superintindent Joe Murphy