Teen who halted bus praised, punished

Posted on March 20, 2008

SEASIDE, Calif. — A high school student has been in the national spotlight since she helped stop a school bus after the driver fell from her seat last week.

While the teenager, Amanda Rouse, was praised as a hero for her action, she was also given detention since she wasn’t supposed to be on the bus when the incident happened.

On Tuesday, Rouse and her grandmother appeared on the television show Fox & Friends, where she described the fateful day.

Rouse said that she wasn’t feeling well, so instead of getting off the bus at her high school, she asked the driver to take her home. She admitted on the show that she should have followed the rules by getting off at school and calling her grandmother to pick her up.

Later in the route, when there were about 40 other passengers — elementary students — on the bus, the driver fell from her seat after reportedly getting her foot stuck between the brake and gas pedals. A California Highway Patrol report said that the driver was not wearing her seat belt.

Rouse sprang into action. “The first thing I thought to do was pull that emergency brake like I’ve learned,” the teen said on Fox & Friends. She noted that it took her about 15 seconds to find the brake “since it was an older bus.” The bus came to a stop as it hit two parked cars.

According to The Monterey County Herald, the driver was taken to a hospital and treated for neck and back pain. District officials said that two of the passengers complained of pain and were treated by their family doctors.

Rouse’s grandmother, Sally Correll, said that even though her granddaughter would still have to serve detention, the district planned to honor her in some way.

When a Fox & Friends anchor asked Rouse whether she thought it was “nuts” that she was still being punished, the teen had a mature response:

“Not really — I think it’s fair,” Rouse said. If she hadn’t been disciplined, she noted, “it wouldn’t be fair to other students if they played hooky.”

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