As a school bus driver, this is one of the reasons that I am so grateful that my
district recently installed cameras on its buses. They protect the children and
the driver. As for the driver performing his route the morning of
the 24th, I can tell you that many routes begin long before supervisors arrive
in the morning, and the transportation supervisors tend to come in earlier than
most other district offices are open (my route, for example, starts a full hour
before most supervisors arrive and a full TWO HOURS before the main district
office opens; and there are routes that start nearly an hour before mine!).
Depending on who the message was left with, by the time that person checked
their messages it could have been hours into the driver's route. While I
feel for the parents involved (as I am a parent myself), their fury at the
district in this particular instance is misplaced and displays a lack of
understanding of how bus routes work.
483bzac, even if he did drive on the morning of the 24th, there is no cause for
a lawsuit against the District unless he molested a child on the morning of the
24th (which no one is claiming). That could be easily ascertained by looking at
Everyone is getting quite upset about the fact that he drove his route one more
time after the initial call was made. Please go back and look at the timeline
before being so outraged. Someone left a message at the district on the evening
of the 23rd, and the person reviewing those messages on the morning of the 24th
initiated the process to bring him in and suspend him. Bus routes begin before
8am, and the office probably reviewed the messages after 9am. It's likely
he already had a bus full of kids when the message was first received by the
@redwings. That is where the dispute is. Per the DN article, the School says he
drove on the morning of the 23, not the 24th. (The School District says that
this was an after hours report to them on the 23rd) Parents are saying he drove
on the morning of the 24th. Indeed, this would be cause to hold the School
District criminally or civilly liable if it is proven the bus driver drove on
the 24th after they knew of the allegation.
If I were a parent, I wouldn't accept the "not enough" money
reason. All children, especially before they are speaking age and handicapped in
particular, are magnets for predators. The bus should be equipped with cameras,
but nothing makes up for diligence. The abuses that have been alleged here, are
If a child were to go to this same elementary school with bruises, the
school's administration could have that child taken to a doctor for an
examination and involve DCFS and the police without any notification to the
parents. Then, the parents are put in a "guilty until proven innocent"
situation. However, a bus driver molesting kids gets to drive his route before
he is suspended? Really?Teachers, bus drivers, administrators all
ultimately work for the parents. This has been forgotten in school
administration. As parents, we should be able to "fire" those who do
not perform. Luckily, my wife and I "fired" the school
system and now home school our boys...
It was suggested that volunteers or parents ride on the bus to help make sure
everything is okay, but this will never happen as the district would be liable
for the volunteers and parents. The parents at our school tried to get a group
together to help cross a street which the city determined didn't need a
crossing guard. They were denied permission because of liability.
The Canyons School District Superintendent does herself no favors by constantly
talking about how they followed district "procedure" in TV interviews.
Parents are wounded. Kids are hurt. She talks "procedure." It is like
waiving red in front of a bull which has already been lanced.Smart
woman. Dumb choice. Clearly, "smart" does not mean wise (or
To PhoenixAZ - you hit the nail on the head.
I worked in offices of a school district for 30 years. I learned during that
time and worse as the years went by, it's not about children or
children's education of safety in school. For the school districts,
it's all about money. Pure, plain, and simple.
"Ultimately", "in the big picture", "with a little
foresight" - it would have been better for the school district to put an
aide on every special needs bus. This is going to cost them a big penny in
legal bills and lawsuits. "Nothing new here" - so why didn't the
school district anticipate and use caution.I have been a bus driver
- I don't see how this could happen. Why is this not a capital case?
While I'll agree that the driver should have been suspended pending
investigation as soon as the allegations were made, there's no reason to
notify parents of the allegations until the investigation finds evidence to
support them and lots of reasons not to. Remember the McMartin preschool case?
As soon as word of the accusations got out, parents began interrogating their
own children and, essentially, planting the seeds for false accusations.
That's how witch hunts begin, and soon children were coming forward with
baseless claims that eventually were found to be false. Kids are impressionable
and will inadvertently make up stories to support what overeager parents are
suggesting to them. This doesn't serve the cause of justice at all. The
police and prosecutors are reviewing all the video records of this driver and
should be able to conduct the investigation without kids being coached by
As a former teacher who taught special education students, the reason the school
district is not admitting any guilt is that to do so would open them up to all
kinds of lawsuits. They will continue to deny. They know their liability is
greater with special ed students because of federal law. This is probably the
reason they were not more forthcoming with the parents. Sad. Their first duty
should be the students. Not CYA.
I stand with the parents on this issue! If I were them I would send a copy to
the city council and police departments also and post it in the local newspaper!
After having spent time as an Assistant Director of a childcare center on a
military base, I an attest to practiced policies and procedures regarding
suspected child abuse in any case: IMMEDIATE REMOVAL of the alleged perpetrator
pending further investigation. In other words, I don't believe the school
district acted in the best interest of the children. The driver should have
been notified when the school district first heard of the allegation that he
will not report to work in the morning to drive the bus pending completion of
the investigation. He should have either been suspended, or put on alternative
duty. The district should have erred on the part of the children, not the
You're right Woodysworld about the Special Education funding issue but I
think there is a general issue here that we don't want to fund education
properly. It would be great to have aides on all buses because heck, I want the
bus driver to focus on the road and not have to worry about what is going on the
bus which freedomforthepeople points out can be sort of like Lord of the Flies.
But after the bus ride is over we want to shove kids in classes of 30 or more in
elementary and 40 or more in high school and hope everything works out. We need
to do better...
This is possibly a horrible case but the school followed procedure by
immediately suspending the bus driver and notifying police. A criminal
conviction should still precede the guilty verdict of the driver by the parents.
(unless they are on the jury)
Yes I think the parents would pay. The district should have
discovered this scum bag a long time ago. Just like the manager of a team in any
work place is required to know what is happening on their team. C'mon, take
a couple hours per week and review film. No excuse can make up for this horrific
Thanks for your comment Howard Beal. One thing you have failed to consider is
states and school districts get extra funds for special needs children. Also no
bus driver with special needs children should be without an aid for safety
everyone. Our district has always had aids on the bus. This can simply be a
parent or volunteer.
I've never been willing to put my kids on the school bus. I rode one as a
child and I know what 60 unsupervised kids are capable of. Nothing terrible
happened to me - but I was always aware that I was unprotected and on my own.
Turning your child over to "the state" to transport and educate for
many, many hours daily is something parents want to be able to do for many
reasons, but the truth is, there will always be negative consequences when you
expect someone else to supervise and manage your kids for many hours - some you
see, some you don't. I am not blaming the parents - I am just saying that
you really can't have it all. You just get to pick the sacrifices you will
make or won't make - and there are consequences to every decision.
I truly feel bad for the abuse that occurred but aides cost money. Bottom line,
are the parents themselves and the public at large ready to pony up for these
services and to improve education in general. It is sad sometimes that we get
what we pay for and we should be doing better in regards to our children.