Stillwater parents unhappy with school bus driver

Saturday, September 20th 2008, 12:14 am
By: News 9

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Some parents in Stillwater are not happy about their children's school bus driver. They said they aren't satisfied with how district officials have handled complaints either. Now, parents are starting to take matters into their own hands.

Concerned parents are speaking out, even starting a petition to get the bus driver fired.

As bus drivers have driven the routes this week, Victoria Whatley's simple handwritten petition has grown to hold 60 signatures. One belongs to Diana Wilson who is furious about where the bus dropped her daughter off Monday.

Evelyn, a seventh-grader, said the trouble started with an argument over windows.

She said bus four's driver told the kids to put the windows up, but Evelyn said that was before she got on the bus.

"We put down the windows," Evelyn said. "We weren't aware we weren't supposed to."

She said that's when the driver stopped the bus about 100 yards from the middle school and an unknown student muttered "I would rather walk". Apparently the bus driver had enough.

"He said, ‘Well, then everybody that had a window down can get off'," Evelyn said.

She said about eight to 10 students did, on the side of the road, while the bus driver pulled away.

"You don't care about a child if you tell them to get off the bus," upset parent Diana Wilson said. "She's 12."

Dr. Ann Caine, Stillwater's superintendent, said a tape of the incident is under review.

"The transportation director is already working with the bus driver and we want to make sure that bus is safe for all the children," Caine said.

But that's not good enough for the parents petitioning.

"No, I want him fired, I want somebody else driving the bus," upset parent Victoria Whatley said.

The superintendent said the driver's identity and disciplinary action are personnel matters. He's been with the district for three years with no problems.