An East Texas bus driver has been fired after telling students to get off her bus. Last Friday, witnesses saw around twenty Forest Park middle school students get off the bus and start walking on Garfield Drive, crossing High Street, a busy four lane road. According to the LISD bus driver's account of the situation, students were being verbally abusive and swearing at her, when she had enough.
"You have unruly kids on school buses; it happens. If it did occur exactly as we're hearing, I can't explain why people do some of the things that they did," says LISD spokesman Adam Holland.
Officials tell us the driver tried to discipline the kids by threatening to make all of them walk home. The driver told district officials she had intended to scare the kids, and fully intended to get them back on the bus. But the kids called her bluff, in her account; she said she tried getting the kids back on, and they began walking away.
"To put them off at an intersection, that's on no list of things to do. Such an act does not fit in any district's policy, anywhere," Holland says.
But the district says there are other alternatives that would have been acceptable.
"All buses have a radio; get on the radio, call dispatch, let them know what's going on. Another option, take the bus back to the bus barn. Get on the phone and start calling parents. Our bus drivers are trained to know that safety the safety of the children is number one," says Holland.
Officials tell us the driver was on the job for two weeks.
"Putting children off at a busy intersection at 4:45 in the afternoon does not constitute safety. This is a different day and age and that is not to be done," Holland says.
The district reiterates its policy that LISD bus drivers can not leave students at any time, unless they are being let out at their assigned drop off areas.