LAKEWOOD - Thanksgiving might be just another day on the road for school bus drivers in Lakewood.
The Lakewood School District is enforcing contracts with all of its bus companies, requiring them to make their routes on Thanksgiving Day in order to provide bus service for Orthodox Jewish students who attend private schools.
Lakewood has 18,000 Orthodox Jewish students who attend private schools and have class on Thanksgiving.
The school board attorney, Michael Inzelbuch, says those contracts specify that vendors must comply with all state laws and guidelines. He says that means the district must provide busing to all of its private school students whenever their schools are in session. The schools previously waived their right to busing on Thanksgiving.
Last school year, bus drivers did not have to work on federal holidays such as New Year's Day, Memorial Day or Thanksgiving. The board attorney says a lack of busing on holidays can make for dangerous and crowded conditions at schools.