ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Hawkins County Schools Transportation Supervisor Rolando Benavides met with the Board of Education on Thursday to discuss the decline in bus drivers in the district due to student behavior and government red tape.

Due to disruptive behavior from students towards one another, several routes do not have full-time drivers due to those drivers leaving the company after disciplinary incidents on different routes.

Benavides also said the process of bus driver applicants becoming certified by the state is a frustrating process.

“A lot of the requirements you have to do to become a bus driver are time-consuming,” said Benavides.

He continued to state how it can take months to become a driver, and with the county short of drivers now, time is of the essence.

“It’s difficult to get through everything the state requires to become a bus driver and the amount of time we need to add new drivers, we’re trying the best we can,” he said.

Benavides says bad student behavior is also to blame and that disrespect and defiance by students are increasing issues.

“A lot of the issues we have been dealing with now, vaping that has grown tremulously over the past couple years from where it was, it’s becoming more and more of an issue,” Benavides said.

In the meantime, Benavides is working with other schools in the district to come up with bus routes to accommodate everyone who needs the services. The county will be seeking help from the state to expedite the driver certification process to recruit more drivers.