EL MIRAGE, Ariz. — A school bus driver here who on Tuesday allegedly refused to let students leave the bus at a bus stop and drove back to their school has been placed on administrative leave, ABC15 reports.
A spokesperson for the Dysart Unified School District told the news source that the driver was taking the students home from school when he stopped the bus because the students were being too loud, and at one point a parent tried to pry open the bus door and the bus driver drove away.
In a 911 call obtained by ABC15, a parent said that the bus driver locked the students in the bus and parents were trying to break into it to get the kids off the bus, and the bus driver drove away with the children. A parent whose child was aboard the bus during the incident told the news source the driver turned off the air conditioning because the fan was too loud and he was trying to instruct the students on how to safely exit the bus, and that he drove away because he didn’t know the person trying to open the doors was a parent.
The school district released a statement on Thursday, which stated that it is investigating the incident and the bus driver has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. It also stated that there is no evidence to support a claim that the driver turned off the air conditioning on the bus.
To read the full story, go here.
A similar incident occurred in September in Massachusetts when a bus driver, following a policy to deboard kindergartners first, would not allow other children, who were hot and uncomfortable, to leave the bus for a lengthy period of time. In a 10-minute standoff, parents blocked the bus, broke the bus door, boarded and refused to leave. The bus driver was also punched in the face.
Watch the ABC15 story on the Arizona incident below.