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Bus Incident Under Investigation: Parents Say Kids Fear Bus - KOAM TV 7

Bus Incident Under Investigation: Parents Say Kids Fear Bus

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Parents and the Joplin school district speak out about a bus incident that's prompting an investigation of the driver's actions. The driver stopped the bus for alleged behavior issues. Parents say help didn't arrive for at least forty-five minutes.


On Wednesday, Jennifer Reyes and her husband pick up their kids from McKinley school. The kids didnt want to ride the bus after being held on the bus Tuesday by the driver who stopped about a block from school because of a behavior situation.

Reyes said, "It
s unreal to me that many kids kept on a bus that long and it was so hot."

Another mom recorded kids walking back to school on her phone after a long time on the stopped bus. 

Reyes said, "They were bright red, sweaty, drenched, it looked like they just got out of a sauna."

Lisa Cleveland had two kids on the bus and said, "They were extremely red faced, horribly upset.  My oldest daughter was in tears.."

Katrina Ball said he daughter got sick. "She was distraught.
She had came in, she collapsed, went into a horrible panic, anxiety attack."
They called 911 and her daughter Mackenzie went to the hospital to have her breathing brought under control.


Katrina  kept her  kids home Wednesday. She said, "She (Mackenzie) woke up this  morning still terrified. She said, please don;t make us go to school."


The school district says the bus driver was substituting on this route but  was following protocol.

Dr. Kerry Sachetta, the assistant superintendent of operations said, "The bus driver made an attempt to try and get help.

But Sachetta admits there was a gap in communication from the call to the bus barn  and reaching the principal.


 "We're hoping to ensure that we can ensure the speed  of that communication happens quicker. "

Ball and others say the driver handled it poorly, even using profanity. Ball said,  "You also don
t drop  f bombs and call kids  kindergarten  through 5th grade ages horrible names. Thats unexcusable."


The district is investigating and checking video recorded on a bus camera.
Sachetta said, "We have no indication that he was cursing at students but we are continuing to look at footage. There is a lot of footage. "

Sachetta says aids ride some buses and can be switched to different routes which could happen in this situation.

Reyes liked that idea, "I know teachers who volunteered to ride the bus til this is fixed. They should take them up on that."


Ball believes the school is doing what it can but she wants the driver fired and held accountable.

And she said,
I will tell you, my children will never ride a bus again."
    
The district would not comment on disciplinary action for the bus driver and is still investigating.


          The principal of McKinley scheduled a meeting to hear parents concerns Thursday  at 5:30pm at the school library.

 

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