TEXAS CITY — A 15-year-old girl was in the hospital Sunday after suffering a concussion after two school buses collided as the band traveled to a competition on Saturday.

The girl’s mother said that school officials waited hours to inform her of the accident and that her daughter was ill.

Rhonda Drope said her daughter remained in the hospital Sunday with a concussion that made her dizzy when she tried standing. She also had issues with nausea.

The school district issued an apology to the family and confirmed that an internal review was under way.

Drope’s daughter was among the 130 band students who traveled to Galena Park on four buses for the Area round of the University Interscholastic League competition.

School district Spokeswoman Melissa Tortorici confirmed that two buses collided, but said students whose parents were not on the trip were told to contact their parents about the accident to let them know they were OK.

A car cut off one of the buses causing one of the vehicles to rear-end another, Tortorici said. The accident happened between Baybrook Mall and Clear Lake City Boulevard around 12:45 p.m.

Drope’s daughter was sitting near the front of the bus that was rear-ended.

“Adult boosters and band directors, who were on both buses, checked on all of the students,” Tortorici said. “During this process, two students reported that they thought they were hurt. Both of their respective parents were on the particular bus and checked on their children.”

The band participated in the contest Saturday, but after the first performance, Drope’s daughter had a severe headache and was sick to her stomach.

Drope said one of the band parents, who claimed she is a nurse and who made the trip, called to ask if she could give Drope’s daughter some “Tylenol and Tums,” but made no mention of the accident.

Tortorici said the girl became ill after eating and that a Galena Park athletic trainer also checked on the girl.

Still, it wasn’t until an assistant band director called to ask Drope to come pick up her daughter was she informed about the accident. That was six hours after the collision, Tortorici said.

Drope drove to Galena Park and took her daughter to John Sealy Hospital in Galveston where doctors made the concussion diagnosis.

Physicians questioned Drope why it took so long to bring her daughter into the hospital for treatment.

“I am livid,” Drope said. “We escaped something more severe, but (school officials) didn’t know that at the time.

“No one called me or said anything even after I called and said she was in the hospital,” Drope said.

Tortorici acknowledged a lack of communication and said the appropriate procedures were not followed.

“Texas City ISD administration and band directors deeply regret this communication break down and publicly apologize to the student and her family,” Tortorici said.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.

(17) comments

Tax Payer

All school officials that go on field trips with students should know CPR and basic First Aid. They are not doctors but when the student started complaining the parents should have been called and told their child was in an accident.

Dedrick Johnson

All school officials that go on field trips with students DO NOT know CPR. Some are teachers... some are parental volunteers, boosters... CPR is not a requirement, but a definite plus. Yes parents should have been called. But any teen should communicate their problems with the adults around them. Some signs aren't as easy to pick up on.


Persons that are directly in charge of the group are required. Dedricki, you should know that. It has been like this since I have been there. You were there when this was a requirement.


CPR was not needed and all of those school personnel have already been trained in CPR. It is mandatory for all staff members who are sponsors for groups: coaches, band directors, choir directors, dance teachers, ROTC leaders. Just ask anyone from TCISD. It is mandatory and they all receive a certificate to carry in their wallet.

Paula David

I take students to field trips 6-8 times a year as a teacher in TCISD and I am not CPR certified by the district and am not required to be. I am not sure where you got your information. I know the coaches are CPR certified, maybe the band directors/choir directors are, not sure about that. However, the teachers are not and they take kids away from the school on field trips.

Carlos Ponce

Thank you for being candid and truthful. As a public school teacher in a neighboring school district I did receive CPR training but that was in 1978. I did however receive training in use of the Automated External Defibrillator at the same time the band director received his training.

Lars Faltskog

Wow, Carlosponce -
You taught school in 1978? You're a "boomer" and that was a tough time to be teaching, I bet. Thanks for your years of dedication. Teachers have been and still are underappreciated.

Carlos Ponce

Actually sverige, I began my career in 1977. I took CPR training in an inservice in 1978. You're welcome.


The thing that strikes me is that immediately following the accident "Students whose parents were not on the trip were told to contact their parents to let them know there had been an accident" I would be more upset with my son for not calling me than school officials. Why didn't this young girl call her mom as instructed? Maybe she wanted to stay for the competition and knew if she called her mom she would freak out and run her to the hospital. These kids are in high school, it is not like it was elementary or Junior High kids. I am sure the school officials as well as the volunteers chaperoning did everything they could to assist each child, including the nurse who was there in a parental role as a booster volunteer who was kind enough to use her expertise to assist.


I agree that the child should have done as told. Of course, if she was feeling nauseated then and did not say anything to anyone I could understand partly why he/she did not call. Sitting on a moving bus being nauseated does not really feel too good. If she was dizzy at that point... calling would have been difficult.
If the PIC ( persons in charge) realized that she had an issue they should have called parents asap. But, if the student did not say anything to anyone and acted like everything was hunky dory it is hard for to notice unless she showed symptoms. Why was an ambulance not called to double check? Traveling at those speeds on the high a bump is pretty harsh.

Walter Manuel

Am really glad this student wasn't hurt worse than she was and am wishing her a speedy recovery.

Hopefully those involved have learned a tough lesson, but will correct the problem in the future.

Am really glad that all of the other students are ok as well!

thomas herring

High school students should be able for follow directions. If the students were told to call their parents, they should have called their parents. If she wasn't feeling well, she should have called her parents. Maybe she was trying to see if she would be well enough to play and didn't want to miss out, but if the band officials told the kids to call their parents, they need to follow directions. I guess in the future the band teachers should go one by one and ask every single student if they called their parents. A student can make one call. The school has to make over a hundred calls.

As far as the school's responsibility, they should have brought in an emergency team to assess the kids to make sure no one was suffering from something like this. This girl likely didn't know what to watch for in a concussion and probably had no idea that nausea was related to a concussion until she was overwhelmed by the feeling.

Lessons learned on both sides, I hope. So glad more kids weren't hurt and wishing this student a speedy recovery!


I am thankful and graceful there were no fatalities caused by this accident. We got everybody back. Everybody is still alive to pursue their futures and callings in this world! Thank ya Lord!
It does not always end up this way, BUT it did this time!!! I thank GOD for that,...in the NAME of JESUS. Amen!
I furthermore pray for the continued protection of the LORD over these children and participating adults, chaperones,...as well as staff as they go forth involved in the activities and festivities throughout this year,..and I come against any act, move or CALAMITY, the enemy brings against these children of not only Texas City ISD, but every school district in Galveston County,..and NOT ONLY ON TRIPS AND ACTIVITIES, BUT..... IN THE CLASSROOMS AS WELL! Amen again!!!
P.S. NOW, lets go to work HIT THOSE BOOKS,...and win some games, band competitions, track meets, and baseball games. Everything is going to be alright now! See, some of us are not going to take this act of aggression by the enemy sitting down!! [wink]

Carlos Ponce

i travel with an area high school band. We carry a folder containing emergency contact information in case of such an incident, a school nurse who carries one of those portable defibrillators, and several chaperones in addition to the school personnel. I do not fault the young lady for not contacting home. She just suffered a concussion and probably was not thinking right. Someone, a director, a chaperone, or one of her friends should have noticed that something was wrong and notified those in charge. I pray that she recovers and everything turns out okay. But to those who drive, these buses are painted yellow for a reason, so they will be noticed. BE CAREFUL around any bus! These buses carry our next generation. I've seen too many times where a school bus is almost hit by someone not using common sense. These buses are limited in speed by a motor governor and travel in caravan. I hate to see a driver who encounters such a caravan then tries weaving in and out of traffic. God Bless the bus drivers.Thank them for getting your child to and from school safely on daily routes and on extracurricular trips. I do.

Carlos Ponce

And let me add this for the students: Remain properly seated at all times when the bus is moving. One bump and your head hits the bus roof. Too many times I have reminded students of this. The modern school bus is well padded and will protect you if you are properly seated, not kneeling in the seat, not standing in the aisle, not stretched out between seats, not hanging your foot on the window or over the next seat and not hanging out an open window. After UIL Marching contest in Dickinson on Oct. 22 I passed a Brazosport ISD school bus carrying the Brazoswood Band. A young lady stuck her head and hands out the bus window-not a good idea. Strange since most school buses are now air - conditioned.


This particular school district is very strict concerning safety. All students are trained in bus safety in case of an accident. Transportation sees to that. All school teachers/personnel are usually trained in bus safety as well. They are taught what to do in case of a crash, what to do to evacuate,how to exit, etc. I believe it is state law that states that PIC (person in charge) must carry permission slips/medical releases for students on their particular bus in case of this. This allows for parent to be called or for medical attention be administered in case of accident.
Too bad there was poor communication but, I assure you that this incident has the school district's attention.


I remember some years back, another school district in this county, had buses involve in a Tragic incident concerning an erratic driver operating another vehicle. This certain district encountered fatalities! This is why we all need to be straight-up grateful there were none in this particular situation! I'm glad that little girl is still alive, to fulfill her destiny, to go to football games, to date, go to college, get married, have a family and do good! I'm not about to blame her,..because this whole thing was about MORE THAN HER, OR ANYBODY ELSE ON THAT TRIP! Ohhh, I'm not afraid to say it, like it ought to be said!!!!! I'm free....No chains on me!
This is why all of us who are familiar with the Prayer Of Intercession,...should pray it over the area school children, chaperones, staff and teachers of all our school districts,..regardless of if they are on extra activities as well as when they are on campus, or inside their classrooms! We have a common enemy out there and he loves going after our children,..our young people! I'm bold with mine see,...I take mine STRAIGHT TO THE ROOT of the problem! This is why I'm here, to seek and to save, and to destroy the works of the enemy, by any means I can! ( Luke 19:10)..
( I John 3:8.)
All you have to do to realized that American schools are under attack is to look at ABC, CBS, and CNN,...Then look around you locally! Everything is not exactly rosy red here! Ohhhhh I wish somebody was able to help me say this!!!! Fact is though, God and Jesus, will always, have a voice in old JBG,..and I pledge to go after the root of the problem, and not scratch around the top of the soil gaining nothing!
If you want to kill grass, you stop mowing it and poison the root system. [wink]
P.S. How do you tell a fool, not to do his/her job? A fool's JOB is to act the fool,...like a thief's job is to steal! You have to assume that both are going to do their jobs in society, so when it comes to our kids we need to be on top of our spiritual game, Amen?

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