FAIRFIELD, Conn. — A school bus driver here recently lost his job after joking with elementary school students about falling asleep at the wheel and swerving while he was driving, the Connecticut Post reports.
Bus driver Austen Mouning joked that he felt sleepy and briefly pretended to take a nap behind the wheel. One student was concerned and told her mother about the incident. Police were dispatched to the scene and stopped the bus, according to the newspaper. They were joined at the scene by the school principal and the Fairfield Public Schools transportation director. The driver was removed from the bus, and a substitute driver completed the afternoon route.
David Title, the district’s superintendent of schools, said that the police investigation indicates that the driver was “playing a prank” on students. He added in a statement that school officials exercised their right to remove the driver under terms of the district’s contract with First Student, and that Mouning was removed from the list of approved bus drivers “effective immediately,” according to the Connecticut Post.
Police officials said they are reviewing video from the camera on the bus, but indicated the driver may have swerved to avoid hitting a small animal, the newspaper reports. Police also said they have not received any reports from the area of Mouning having driven erratically, there is no indication that substance abuse or medical issues are involved, and the driver is not facing criminal charges, according to the newspaper.
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