This photo of Southington High School students sitting in the aisle of a school bus was posted Jan. 2, 2014, on the Facebook page titled SOUTHINGTON TALKS. The photo generated more than 240 comments and school officials are saying the administration is looking into the issue.

Photo of Southington High School students sitting in aisle of school bus causes stir on Facebook

SOUTHINGTON — A photo of a crowded high school bus posted on the Southington Talks group’s page on Facebook has generated 242 comments and officials are saying the administration is looking into the issue.

On Jan. 2 a member of the group posted a photo capturing what appeared to be an overflow of students on the bus, forcing students to sit in the aisle. The caption with the picture stated “Shs bus 12 kids sitting in the aisles.” It was followed by hundreds of comments, some appalled by the post, others questioning the safety of the students, many complaining about the situation, and others seeing no harm in it.

Southington Talks is a group forum with more than 400 members.

At the Board of Education meeting last week, the post was brought up during the public comment session.

School board Chairman Brian Goralski said the office of Fred Cox, the director of operations for the school system, is handling the matter.

“The day in question was, I believe, an early release snow day which impacts students’ riding the buses,” said Goralski. “There are things in place with the bus company to deal with days where it might be heavier than usual; those are things, when brought to our attention, we make sure we handle appropriately.”

The school system contracts with New Britain Transportation Co. for bus transportation.

“Of course we’re not pleased with it,” said Terri Carmody, the vice chairwoman of the school board.

Carmody said the school board has not discussed the matter as a board, but that the issue is being looked into by Cox’s office and the school superintendent.

“We look forward to a follow-up,” Goralski said.

School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

Contacting board members or administration by email or by phone is the best way to address any residents’ concerns, Goralski said. He encouraged people to try to contact an official directly and not use social media because it can be “distorted or misrepresent” a situation. (203) 317-2212 Twitter: @FollowingFarrah

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