A school bus driver held kids on a bus in hot temperatures until impatient parents did as they were instructed. CBS Local in Boston reports that the school bus driver did what she was told by dispatch when impatient parents climbed aboard the bus to collect their children. The incident occurred in Worcester on Wednesday about 3:15 p.m. An assault even happened after a teen struck the driver.
The driver explained to police that she was allowing kindergarten students to get off the bus first and some of the parents got impatient, trying to board the bus.
“We felt like you know she was holding them hostage,” Marilyn Poske, a parent says.
Dispatch told the driver to close the door until police arrived and the situation exploded from there. One of the parents — Luis Rivera — feels that the driver was doing her job according to protocol.
“She has a protocol that she has to let off the kindergarten kids first, and then the bigger kids get off. She wasn’t going to let any kids out until the parents at least calmed down so she could do her job and they weren’t allowing her to do that.”
Police say several parents forced their way onto the bus and got their kids while yelling threats and profanities at the driver. A 16-year-old girl even punched the bus driver in the face. The girl is being charged with assault and battery.
“She started by pulling her hair, and then she striked her in the face and it went from there and everything just went crazy,” parent Sandra Rivera says.
Children on the school bus were distressed. Parents blocked the bus and shouted for kids to use the emergency exit at the back of the bus. The crying children were uncomfortable, crying and complaining of heat. Frantic children busted open the emergency exit door to get off the bus.
“They were breaking the door and screaming and saying bad words,” 8-year-old Anthony Pacheco shares.
“There was so many children on the bus and they were screaming that they were hot, that they couldn’t breathe,” Poske adds.
Police arrived not long after the fiasco.
According to Mass Live, the school department released a statement that insists that the driver was only adhering to policy.
“The driver was attempting to ensure that kindergarten students were matched with the proper parent before releasing them from the school bus. Parents became impatient and insisted that the driver release all the students immediately. When the driver refused, one or more parents started to enter the school bus. The driver informed them that adults are not allowed on the school bus with students on board. They refused to leave and the driver was instructed by the Durham supervisor to close the entrance door. Parents broke the door and entered the school bus.”
The statement continues that “the school bus driver was also physically assaulted, struck at least two times in the face.”
An investigation into the school bus driver confrontation with parents is ongoing. On Friday the driver was back on the job, but put on a different route.
[Photo Credit: Jean Prizio / Mass Live]