CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Nikki Kirsch’s expectation for first day of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus drop-off is that it will take a while.
“You kind of have to roll with the punches,” she says.
Still, she did not quite expect a three-hour delay.
“I was on the phone with transportation, and then I got a call from the school principal,” Kirsch says.
School for her three kids ends at 4:15 p.m., but Monday, they got home at 7:30 p.m.
After that first day, Superintendent Earnest Winston told reporters, there would be hiccups.
"We have some new drivers,” he said. “They're getting acclimated to the routes.”
While some CMS parents called the district to complain, Kirsch decided to show her kids a different approach.
“While I was really irritated they spent three hours on a bus, I felt bad for [the driver],” she says.
Kirsch was told it was the driver’s first day. New drivers are a factor Winston had warned would contribute to later drop-off times, so when she finally met up with her kids’ driver, Kirsch decided to share her family motto with him.
“I said, ‘We have a family motto, Drake, what is it?’ And he said, ‘Accidents happen,’ to the bus driver,” she says. “I said, ‘Exactly, things happen.”
While social media saw some parents online calling to fire late drivers, or contact the superintendent, it is Kirsch’s kind and understanding comments that took off, getting hundreds of “likes.”
Kirsch says she just does not see anything to gain from complaining – not right now. And, she says, the kids have all arrived safe and on time, in the two days, since.
“I felt sorry for him, I felt compassion for him,” she says. “Like, how stressful that had to be for him, he’s probably worried he’s going to lose his job, and in the grand scheme of life, they’re safe, they’re healthy, they’re going to go to school tomorrow, life’s going to continue on, it’s not the end of the world.”
CMS says the latest student drop-off Monday was 8:00 pm. On Tuesday, there were no reported delays.