Nashville Group Wants To Change School Start Times After Deadly Bus Crash

By Sarah Tate

November 18, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

A deadly collision involving a Metro Nashville Public School bus is leading to renewed debates about later start times at local schools.

Around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday (November 17), an MNPS school was driving on Elm Hill Pike near Donelson Pike on its way to Cora Howe Exceptional School when it collided with an SUV. According to police, the SUV crossed the double yellow lines and hit the bus head-on.

The driver of the SUV, later identified as 62-year-old Bobby Haddix, was killed in the collision, News Channel 5 reports. Two adults on the bus, the driver and a monitor, received minor injuries and were taken to a hospital for treatment. A 15-year-old student was also on board at the time of the crash but was not hurt. They were later picked up by their parents.

Following news of the deadly collision, a group called Start School Later-Nashville used the crash as an example of why Nashville schools should start later in the day.

"Terrifying. This wreck happened 'just before 6am,'" the group said in a tweet Wednesday morning. "This is just more evidence that our children SHOULD NOT BE ON SCHOOL BUSSES BEFORE 6AM!"

According to the news outlet, the organization has been advocating for later school start times since July 2020 when they wrote a letter addressed to the "MNPS Community" outlining why they believe high schools should start at 8:30 a.m. Other reasons they believe high schools should start later include that it could improve students' mood, decrease depressive symptoms and decrease car accidents, among others.

"While there are admittedly some barriers to consider, such as transportation costs and after school activities," the letter stated, in part, "when making this chance locally at MNPS, a full cost benefit analysis clearly shows that the pros outweigh the cons."

Read the full letter here.

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