By Grant Bissell
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KSDK) - 5 on Your Side is constantly working to help solve your problems. When we heard a special needs student at East St. Louis High School wasn't being picked up by his school bus, we wanted to help.
D'Marco McKinney is supposed to be picked up at his door step and taken directly to his special needs classroom. But this week the bus didn't come.
"I called Monday morning and they said they would have someone to come pick him up," said Christie McKinney, D'Marco's mom. "No one ever showed up."
That happened on Tuesday and again on Wednesday. Christie McKinney says she called the school board office, and the transportation office.
"I left several messages. No one ever called me back or tried to get in touch with me. I was just so upset I just started crying," McKinney said.
At wit's end, Christie reached out to 5 on Your Side for help. We talked with school spokesperson Beth Shepperd and found out D'Marco's not alone.
The district made big changes on Monday to make bus routes more efficient, improve security and comply with state regulations.
"Those rules were not being observed or enforced," said Shepperd.
There's been lots of confusion since the changes were made. The district has received around 600 calls from concerned parents. Many didn't know about the route changes or that students who live within a mile and a half of their school will no longer be offered bus service.
Shepperd says around 900 paper notices were returned to the district office because the schools don't have current contact information for many families.
As we were interviewing Christie McKinney, Beth Shepperd called. Five on Your Side got the two on the phone and they were able to clear up the confusion.
On Thursday, D'Marco was finally back on the bus.
"He was excited to finally get back to school," said Christie McKinney. "He was having a really bad day yesterday. He's happy he's back in school and so am I."
The East St. Louis School District admits it's still working out the kinks with the bus route changes. If you have concerns you're asked to call your student's school principal directly to get help.
The district has also started using an extra assistant to help answer phone calls.