WEST MILFORD, N.J. — A school bus driver here who was suspended due to violations related to taking a bathroom break in the middle of driving her route will keep her job, NorthJersey.com reports.

On Tuesday, the local board of education rejected a recommendation by the school district’s superintendent to terminate Gaye Kish’s employment, according to the news source. Kish had been suspended since May 3 for violations committed the day before, involving a bathroom break, an unauthorized passenger, parking protocol, and cell phone use. Kish explained that the bathroom break was necessary due to a medical condition, and she reported the incident the day it occurred. Officials told NorthJersey.com that documentation of her condition was presented a couple days later.  

Board members who voted in favor of firing Kish said that they didn’t take issue with the bathroom break, but with her use of her phone while driving. The superintendent said that video showed that Kish was talking or texting while driving at four separate points before she stopped the bus, according to the news source.

Kish said that she used her phone not to text but to scroll through her contacts list and to make two calls while driving her route, according to NorthJersey.com. First, she called her husband, who was not home, and then she called a friend, who lives next to a bus stop, in an effort to find a bathroom. She left the bus running to use the bathroom while having her friend watch the students, the news source reports.

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