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'It's Not Fair to the Kids' Some Guilford County Bus Drivers Don't Support the Walkout

"Don't do that to the parents and certainly don't do that to the kids, it's not fair," GCS bus driver of two years, Eric Strimple said.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — About 150 Guilford County Schools bus drivers will demand a pay raise Monday and Tuesday of next week. They say they've fought for more money, for too long and have exhausted all other options.

"We were guaranteed money that we never got," driver of six years Joshua Graham said. 

But around 400 other drivers aren't participating as of now. 

"Don't do that to the parents and certainly don't do that to the kids, it's not fair, they are our precious cargo" GCS bus driver of two years, Eric Strimple said. "Let's have a conversation, I'd be happy to sit down with county commissioners."

There are many players in the GCS bus driver walkout for wages. 

The bus drivers who organized the walkout:

"It's sad that we have to fight for what we deserve," Graham said.

The drivers who support the sentiment, but are against it overall:

"I don't support taking it and making the kids suffer," Strimple said.

The parents and students caught in the middle:

"I really depend on the bus driver to be able to get {my son} home," mom Ashley DiMario said. But she supports the drivers.

Guilford County Schools, and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

RELATED: 'Absolutely School Will Go On' | Guilford County Schools Works on a Plan for Potential Bus Driver Walkout

RELATED: 150 Guilford County Schools' Bus Drivers Plan a Walkout, District Leaders Say That Would Be a 'Major Breach of Trust'

"We don't disagree that bus driver pay needs to increase, certainly it does, but I think there's an appropriate way for that message to come across," GCS Chief Financial Officer Angie Henry Said.

Though all parties haven't come to a compromise, they all agree the problem is lack of funding. Many fingers are pointing to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, who approved 6 of the 12 million dollars GCS requested.

"The schools system is 6 million dollars in the hole and they're scrambling around," Strimple said. "The school system has their hands tied"

Board Chairman of the Commissioners Alan Branson says this is a state-level problem, not local.

Strimple disagrees.

"When you take an oath of office to be a county commissioner in Guilford County it's like 'I do solemnly swear to never give the school their full budget request,'" Strimple continued.

Strimple says he also wants more money as a bus driver, but refuses to leave students at the bus stop next week.

"I support what they're trying to do but at the same time we've had 3 days of media coverage, you've made your point."

Meanwhile, parents are starting to make arrangements now since many of their kids won't have a ride to school next week. 

RELATED: North Carolina School Bus Drivers Make Less than the National Average

"I don't have a CDL but I have a minivan, I've got quite a few spots at least for the kids in my neighborhood," DiMario said with a laugh. 

She's volunteering to pick up some students on the walkout days next week, and hoping other parents will hop on the bandwagon.

"If we just all grabbed the kids from our neighborhood and helped out where we can, I think we'll be able to get a significant amount of people to school."

A lot of parents like DiMario support the bus driver walkout for wages. Those in support are planning to go to the County Commissioners meeting tomorrow night and vocalize their backing. 

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