WORCESTER, Mass. — Mass Live reports a preliminary investigation revealed a Quinsigamond Elementary School bus driver here was involved in a more than 10-minute-long standoff with parents last week and was punched in the face by a 16-year-old girl.
The incident began when the driver tried to get kindergartners off the bus first, police said in a press release, and parents shouted at the driver while children screamed and cried from inside the bus, according to the news outlet. The situation escalated when the bus started to move. Parents said they blocked the bus and shouted for children to exit through the emergency exit at the back of the bus. As the emergency alarm sounded, children piled off the back of the bus, crying, and police arrived soon afterward. Parents told Mass Live the confrontation began because the driver would not allow the children to leave the bus for a lengthy period of time and that kids were hot and uncomfortable.
According to a statement from Quinsigamond Elementary School, parents waiting for their children “insisted that the driver release all the students immediately. When the driver refused, one or more parents started to enter the school bus. The driver informed them that adults are not allowed on the school bus with students on board. They refused to leave and the driver was instructed by the Durham [School Services] supervisor to close the entrance door. Parents broke the door and entered the school bus." The statement also said the driver was following a policy, “to ensure that kindergarten students were matched with the proper parent before releasing them from the school bus."
Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Melinda Boone said that the bus driver was following proper protocol by matching kindergartners up with their parents, WHDH reports. Additionally, one parent interviewed by the news outlet agreed with the bus driver, saying she was doing her job.
To read the full Mass Live story, click here.