Dry Creek school bus drivers suspended after threatening to SHOOT children for asking 'where are we going'
SARATOGA SPRINGS, UTAH: Two bus drivers have been placed on administrative leave after video of them threatening to shoot and yelling at children surfaced online. The incident took place when students returning home from school told the drivers they took a wrong route.
As per FOX 13, one of the parents of a Dry Creek Elementary School student sent the video to the media outlet, recorded by the child while riding the bus back home after school. In the video, the female driver, who is not identified yet, threatens by saying on the bus intercom, “One more person says 'Where are we going,' I'm going to shoot them." The driver, who took a wrong turn at the Alpine School District Transportation West Office in Saratoga Springs, further adds, "OK, now listen — I missed the stop; I'm trying to turn around. Do you understand? OK. Sit down and be quiet."
Commenting on it, Alpine School District's spokesperson said, "We are aware of a situation on a bus today [September 9]. The employee is on administrative leave pending an investigation. We strongly condemn any threatening action or language directed toward others. We expect all employees to create safe and nurturing environments free of verbal or physical threats. Appropriate action will be taken to ensure this matter is addressed and not repeated."
In a letter directed to Dry Creek Elementary School's parents, Rex Brimhall, the director of Transportation for Alpine School District, wrote that the school district has taken immediate action to make sure students were safe and a full investigation is underway, as per KSLNewsRadio.
Similar incident at Tooele County School District
On September 7, another video, taken by a student on a bus in the Tooele County School District, was received by Fox13 where a driver can be heard yelling at the children, who told the driver that she was going on the wrong route. To which, she responded, "I know! OK? Shut up! I'm gonna turn around, OK? Shut up!"
The Tooele County School District said in a statement, "It was apparent the students were trying to be helpful, and her response was not acceptable or conducive to our district values. The substitute driver has since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident... parents and guardians of the students who were on that bus should be contacted through email tonight [Thursday, September 8] explaining what happened, just in case they were not already aware."
School bus driver shortages
The incidents come after the US Department of Education (DOE) announced a program working with the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to try and address the school bus driver labor shortage on January 4. US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a press release, “We’ve heard from educators and parents that labor shortages, particularly of bus drivers, are a roadblock to keeping kids in schools. Today’s announcement will give states the flexibility they need to help increase the pool of drivers, who are a key part of the school community, and get kids to school safely each day where students learn best. And American Rescue Plan funds can be used to hire these critical staff, including offering increased compensation or other incentives to recruit and retain staff.”