Parents Claim School Bus Driver Wrote Citation While Driving Bus, NCSD Investigates
Last week, multiple parents took to a Facebook message board to complain about a Natrona County School District Bus Driver who they claim wrote a citation for a student while driving down "60 MPH roads."
That's according to various parents that K2 Radio News spoke with, as well as the Facebook group, which originally posted a short video which showed the driver writing on a tablet while the bus was in motion.
K2 Radio News spoke with the parent of the student who recorded the video, who offered details (from her son's perspective) as to what happened on the bus.
"[My son]'s friend [name redacted] was eating a snack and [the driver] decided to write him up while she was driving on the highway," said Amanda Huskey. "She endangered all of the kids on that bus and [the NCSD] refuse[s] to fire her. They think that putting a trainer on the bus is the answer. This driver is not only not safe and shouldn't be allowed to drive our children, she is a bully."
Huskey stated that multiple families have taken issue with the driver, because of her propensity to write students up for "ridiculous things."
Huskey said she hasn't sent her children back to school since learning that the driver returned to her duties on Monday. The original incident took place on Wednesday, March 1.
"[She got] a day off the bus and nothing else I am aware of," Huskey said. "Other than they are putting a trainer on the bus with her. I was given an option for my kids to ride another bus, but it leaves an hour earlier and gets back 30 minutes later. That's almost 12 hours a day for kids, and that is terrible."
Another parent told K2 Radio News that this incident occurred on a road with a high speed limit.
"The bus route this happened on comes from Midwest to Casper, where the speed limit is 60 mph or more," said Corinne Parker. "She was writing a citation for another student eating a snack on the bus while driving at those speeds, putting the lives of all the children at risk; not to mention the bystanders."
Huskey stated that multiple parents have had issues with this particular driver, and they also have an issue with the driver still having a job after "endangering our kids' lives."
Huskey said that she spoke with Sydney Webb, the Risk Manager with the Natrona County School District, as well as Steve Ellbogen, the Executive Director of District Services for the NCSD.
"They just keep telling us that they are really short [staffed with] drivers, like we should accept that as a reason to keep a person driving the bus that doesn't care about the children's safety."
K2 Radio News reached out to Tanya Southerland with the Natrona County School District for comment.
"Natrona County School District was made aware of a reported concern regarding NCSD transportation," Southerland wrote. "In accordance with District processes, an inquiry into the report was conducted. All appropriate inquiry processes were followed."
Southerland wrote that in order to ensure a comprehensive inquiry, the NCSD reached out to external agencies to review the motor vehicle ordinances that applied to the situation. Those agencies were the Wyoming Highway Patrol and the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
"As this involves personnel information, further details will not be released," Southerland wrote.
Southerland shared the the Natrona County School District policies as they pertain to this specific instance.
"Our NCSD Transportation Department is committed to providing all students with a positive and safe riding experience," she wrote. "Distracted driving is not an acceptable action. NCSD Transportation personnel undergo extensive safety, student management, and motor vehicle operation training upon hire. These policies and practices are actively reinforced throughout the year. In addition, NCSD requires continued training on safe driving practices and effective student management for all transportation staff each academic year."
Southerland could not state what the results of the investigation revealed, nor what, if any, consequences were delivered.
The original video posted to the Casper Business Rants and Raves Facebook Group can be seen here, but requires viewers to be members of the group. We are not sharing the video here, as it contains footage of a student's face.
We were given additional footage as well, which shows multiple angles of the driver handling a tablet while driving the bus.
One of the videos includes a student saying "We're all gonna die."