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High school prom organizers scramble after bus charter company flakes

By KPIX Staff

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    NOVATO, California (KPIX) — After dealing with the pandemic and remote learning, students at Novato High were looking forward to enjoying prom night. They now have hit a bump in the road as they received some bad news the day before the big event.

The plan Saturday night was to have seven chartered buses to take the students to prom in Oakland. The students have been preparing for this night for months. They’ve bought dresses and rented tuxes, only to be blindsided by the bus company.

Zach Lee, a senior broke the news to his dad.

“Our leadership company heard from the bus company that they’re short drivers. Uh oh.”

The leadership committee that spent months planning the event is devastated.

“We were prepared but we we’re prepared for this kind of news. We assumed we had everything in order and we trusted the company with it,” said Daniella Garcia, one of the student organizers.

According to the bus company, it’s not a COVID issue but the drivers didn’t have the proper certification to drive minors. The buses were chartered to get the students to and from prom safely.

“Parking is very difficult. There isn’t a garage nearby. So a lot of it was the best way to get them there was provide buses,” said Mark Brewer, principal of Novato High.

Student Haroute Giragossian, a senior, found out on Friday.

“It was a shocker to hear that something so soon could fall apart,” he said.

Giragossian was a bit stunned but he’s staying positive.

“Complaining or stressing about it is not going to get you anywhere. You can spend that time figuring out a solution how to make the best of your time instead of pouting about it,” he said.

Haroute and Zach maybe the lucky ones. Both their parents have offered to give them rides.

“At first it’s like, ‘Ugh, parents!’ But I have a really good parents and I would be happy to share my memories and have them be a part.” Haroute said.

“I’m open to whatever, it’ll be fun,” Zach Lee said. “My sister was going to be there anyway so why not make it a family event?”

The Novato School District is still holding out hope that someone will come forward with a few extra buses. It needs about four to five more by Saturday night.

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