School Officials Stand By Bus Driver After Students Held Captive
Cailyn Finkel 11/19/2018
When we send our kids off to school, the last thing we think is that the school bus they're going to catch will turn into something out of a nightmare. Sadly, this is exactly what happened recently when a substitute bus driver pulled over into a shopping center parking lot and refused to let the children off.
She claims the students were being unruly and, in turn, unsafe. But the children's parents say she could have handled things in a much better manner - one that didn't leave their children screaming for help out the windows.
Eileen Hernandez's 5-year-old son was on the bus when the driver pulled over. According to her interview with Inside Edition, he was frantic and didn't know what was going on. Eileen said:
"We understand she had to pull over because the bus was loud - that's fine. For her to say, 'I'm not taking you home, you're staying here the whole night,' is horrible. It's absolutely horrible... She yelled at the children, who were already scared.
She's a [substitute,] they didn't know her, that's not their everyday bus driver. She could have handled everything different."
A woman they didn't know saying they were never going to make it home was wildly inappropriate. Unsurprisingly, Eileen wasn't the only parent who had a problem with the driver's strict method.
Leslie Zapata received a phone call from her 8-year-old daughter that made her heart drop into her stomach. She told Inside Edition that her daughter called sobbing uncontrollably, begging to be rescued from the confines of the bus.
"She called me and was crying, hysterical on the phone saying the bus driver was parked on the side of the road and wasn't going to take her home. She's terrified. She won't get on that bus again."
Sadly, the horrific ride that afternoon will be the last Leslie's daughter will ever take. She's too traumatized to ever set foot inside a yellow school bus again. Even though dozens of parents are furious over the incident, the school stands by their substitute.
The released a statement saying:
"The bus driver followed school policy, which instructs drivers to pull over if the students are out of control and posing a safety threat."
That's not the issue for the parents. They say the school needs a more comprehensive policy restricting the things a driver can threaten in order to make the students calm down. Certainly, saying they're never going to go home isn't the way to handle anything.