115C-244. Assignment of pupils to school buses.

(a) The superintendent or superintendent's designee shall assign the pupils and employees who may be transported to and from school upon the bus or buses assigned to each school and shall implement and enforce the plan developed under G.S. 115C-246. No pupil or employee shall be permitted to ride upon any school bus to which such pupil or employee has not been so assigned by the superintendent or superintendent's designee, except by the express direction of the superintendent or superintendent's designee.

(b) In the event that the superintendent or superintendent's designee assigns a school bus to be used in the transportation of pupils to two or more schools, the superintendent or superintendent's designee shall assign the pupils to be transported to and from each school by that bus, and the principals of the respective schools shall implement and enforce this assignment of pupils.

(c) Any pupil enrolled in any school, or the parent or guardian of any such pupil, or the person standing in loco parentis to such pupil, may apply to the principal of such school for transportation of such pupil to and from such school by school bus for the regularly organized school day. The principal shall deliver the application to the superintendent or superintendent's designee, who shall assign a pupil to a school bus if the pupil is entitled to school bus transportation under this Article and the rules of the State Board of Education. Such assignment shall be made by the superintendent or superintendent's designee so as to provide for the orderly, safe and efficient transportation of pupils to such school and so as to promote the orderly and efficient administration of the school and the health, safety and general welfare of the pupils to be so transported. Assignments of pupils and employees to school buses may be changed by the superintendent or superintendent's designee as he may from time to time find proper for the safe and efficient transportation of such pupils and employees.

(d) The parent or guardian of any pupil enrolled in any school, or the person standing in loco parentis to any such pupil, who shall apply under subsection (c) of this section for the transportation of such pupil to and from such school by school bus, may, if such application is denied, or if such pupil is assigned to a school bus not satisfactory to such parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis to such pupil, pursuant to rules and regulations established by the local board of education, apply to such board for such transportation upon a school bus designated in such application, and shall be entitled to a prompt and fair hearing by such board in accordance with the rules and regulations established by it. The majority of such board shall be a quorum for the purpose of holding such hearing and passing upon such application, and the decision of the majority of the members present at such hearing shall be the decision of the board. If, at such hearing, the board shall find that pupil is entitled to be transported to and from such school upon the school bus designated in such application, or if the board shall find that the transportation of such pupil upon such bus to and from such school will be for the best interests of such pupil, will not interfere with the proper administration of such school, or with the safe and efficient transportation by school bus of other pupils enrolled in such school and will not endanger the health or safety of the children there enrolled, the board shall direct that such child be assigned to and transported to such school upon such bus.

(e) A decision of a local board under subsection (d) is final and, except as provided in this subsection, is subject to judicial review in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. A person seeking judicial review shall file a petition in the superior court of the county where the local board made its decision.

(f) No employee shall be assigned to or permitted to ride upon a school bus when to do so will result in the overcrowding of such bus or will prevent the assignment to such bus of a pupil entitled to ride thereon, or will otherwise, in the opinion of the superintendent or superintendent's designee, be detrimental to the comfort or safety of the pupils assigned to such bus, or to the safe, efficient and proper operation of such bus. (1955, c. 1372, art. 21, s. 5; 1981, c. 423, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, ss. 47, 48; 1998-220, s. 3.)