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HAMPTON -- Hundreds of parents are scrambling to get their kids to and from school after W.M. Cooper Elementary School in Hampton discontinued bus service.

Kari Weston, a concerned parent, e-mailed 13News Now about the problem after she says she didn't get any answers from school administrators.

'The only communication they have received thus far has been an auto-message from the principal who asked parents to not park their vehicles and walk to pick up their child[ren],' Weston wrote.

Carolyn Bowers, a spokeswoman for Hampton City Schools, confirmed bus service had been discontinued at the school because it is a magnet program and parents apply to have their children attend.

In her e-mail, Weston says the move has created a mess at the school.

'Students have been assigned numbers (sic) wait on the blacktop outside to be picked up each day,' Weston wrote. 'With the warm temperatures, students in grades K-5 are overheated and restless as they wait for their numbers to be called.'

Statement from Hampton City Schools:

Two years ago, when HCS went through the budget process, the money to provide transportation to both Cooper and Jones was cut. These are choice schools. The Hampton City Council gave us a supplemental appropriation to provide the transportation for Jones and Cooper for the 2012-13 school year only. At that time, (last fall) because we knew we would not have the funding for transportation for 2013-14, we began communicating that information to parents, giving them the option to return to their zoned school.

At both Cooper and Jones, we have been frequently monitoring arrival and dismissal procedures and making adjustments where possible to make improvements. We will continue to monitor these procedures and continue to make adjustments where possible to ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors.

Diana Gulotta/|Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Hampton City Schools

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