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School bus driver under investigation

Posted: February 3, 2012 - 3:50pm

Twitter @ValerieRowell

A substitute Columbia County school bus driver is under investigation after pupils riding his bus claim he threatened them on the after-school route Wednesday.

A woman called authorities after she said the substitute driver slammed on brakes, pulled to the side of the road and walked around the bus cursing, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

The driver, who was filling in while the regular driver was on medical leave, told deputies that an administrator at Euchee Creek Elementary School told the pupils on the bus to behave before leaving school grounds.

“All year long, we’ve had some behavioral issues on this bus,” school system Transportation Director Dewayne Porter said. A monitor usually rides on the bus. A teacher and even the principal have ridden as a monitor in the past.

The pupils were elementary schoolers, kindergarten through fifth grade, Porter said. All had signed “behavioral contracts,” in which the pupils agreed to behave properly.

Once on the road, the driver said he had to stop three times to tell the children to quiet down, according to the report.

The third time, the driver said, someone threw a coat over his head blinding him as he drove on Harlem-Grovetown Road. He said he stopped the bus, turned it off, got out and walked around it out of frustration, the report stated.

“It is more than just an aggravation,” Porter said. “It becomes a safety concern when drivers come back and tell us that they can’t control the kids or the kids or up out of their seats constantly. That’s the kind of things that have been happening.”

Porter said some of the pupils claim the driver threatened to leave them on the side of the road and threatened to kill them.

The driver called the transportation office and was told to return to the school, where the pupils were picked up by their parents.

Porter said he is investigating the incident and is collecting statements from all the pupils as well as the driver.

“The truth is somewhere hidden in the midst of this,” Porter said. “No decision has been made as to what we will do, if anything, with this bus driver.”

A decision should be made next week when the investigation is complete, Porter said.

Responding deputies and Porter did not see skid marks and deemed that the children were not in any reasonable danger where the bus stopped.

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Comments (13)


Rowdy kids

Past history of trouble with the same kids on this bus? Take the statements from the kids which will be essentially worthless. Ban all of the kids from riding the bus for a week. After the parents get tired of rearranging their work schedules, etc. I predict a well behaved group of children will return to ride the bus. Well, at least for a short while. I remember getting kicked off the bus for a few days in middle school. With my other cohorts in a similar postion, we had to take a taxi to school and back paid for out of our own money.


You have some sound advice,

You have some sound advice, Raul. That would put the brakes on these misbehaving kids!

WHY? do the media and school officials seem to ALWAYS investigate some authority figure -- bus driver, teacher -- whenever the kids do something they shouldn't do, and something they've been told OVER and OVER not to do? Why not investigate the unruly kids?


Blaming the bus driver?

I understand that there were close to 50 roudy children aboard the school bus. I also understand that about three previous bus drivers tried and failed to gain control of the children on this particular school bus. I understand that these bus drivers asked for support in getting these children under control. Put yourself in the place of this bus driver: Driving a bus with 30, 40, or 50 children BEHIND YOUR BACK, acting crazy, while you are trying to pay attention to the road! And the politicos at hand are trying to tell us that talking on the cell phone and texting are unsafe while driving! Who is at fault here? The Columbia County School System. They have failed to: (1) Place a full time aide on the bus. (2) Respect the discipline notices that the bus drivers wrote out and gave to the school administration. (3) Failed to place a camera on the bus when the initial problems were reported. (4) Failed to reduce the number of students on the bus at one particular time. (5) Failed to mandate a bus seating chart. Yes, the bus driver made a judgement error---walk in his shoes. How would you react?

Craig Spinks


Charlie will get to the bottom of this.

Charlie's been kept out of the loop concerning bus rowdiness. That's getting ready to change- for the better, for the much-better.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence


Don't put assistants on the

Don't put assistants on the bus; just a camera. A lot cheaper and irrefutable evidence. Kick the troublemakers off the bus and show mama the video. Case closed.


Who's in control?!

As a Columbia County resident, I am getting more and more irritated reading this type of story about behavior of students in our schools. Rather than schools being concerned about being labeled as a "dangerous school" because of too many disciplinary reports of student behavior, I implore administrators in our schools to write the necessary reports about student misbehavior (which is many cases can be quite egregious), give them their due process and then let that due process send their butts home to be a problem for their parents! Our schools should not be babysitters for the children and the parents that don't want to raise them! Wake up CC residents. Get in your schools and watch what goes on. In many cases you will be shocked. YOU have the power to put the pressure on and make the changes.

kc fan

Safety first

This sounds like a dangerous situation which needs to be addressed immediately. Remove/suspend students that are non compliant of bus rules until they become permanent car riders. Administrators will have to be willing to take the heat from parents because their child is innocent as always. I have dealt with parents like this way to many times!

Craig Spinks

(R)edapples and (K)cfan,

Our school superintendent Mr. Nagle, our principals and our teachers need the active support of us CC residents in dealing with unruly parents and a wussy school board attorney. Otherwise, our kids and grandkids won't have the academic and social skills they'll need in a globally competitive world.

Dr. Craig Spinks
Georgians for Educational Excellence

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence


Liberal Society, Liberal Members

We continue to tell our children this behavior is acceptable by actions such as calling the media in to make the community aware of the driver's behavior. That call was probably placed by the same parents who raised these children. "it's okay honey, I'll get them in trouble" or "don't worry sweetie, if you don't pass the system will help because of AYP". Yada yada yada.

It's really a microcosm of the problem with this country and our leadership. Liberal children raised by liberal parents will become more liberal and produce more of the same. Isn't it time we put our foot down and hold our kids accountable for their action? Is that too much to ask?

I would suggest a trip to the wood shed would go a long way to improving their attitudes and their ability to behave appropriately when needed. Come on Columbia County residents quit dumping your problems on the school system and step up before it's too late.

Craig Spinks


Fortunately, most CC parents, like most RC parents, care about their kids and are willing to set reasonable limits for them. But there is a small minority of enabling CC parents who must be confronted by the rest of us Columbia countians lest our public schools go down the same road as have public schools in parts of our contiguous, sister county.

When's the next CCBOE meeting?

Mrs. Buccafusco and Mr. Nagle need our support in dealing with media-hungry enablers.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence


Craig Spinks

It's not an issue for the school board. Why would the people who are elected to govern the educational process need to be involved in a case like this? I agree, it probably will be involved, but I personally don't see the need. Parents need to grow up and be responsible for their children. If my mom or dad got a call from the school and told him or her I had been doing this on the bus, the last place I would want to be is on that bus the next day. My rear end would be too sore to sit!



ColCo residents are gererally conservative in their politics. However, many still suffer from the widespread disease of "my little Johnny/Jenny can do no wrong".


Well Said Itsa

How can we expect our kids to manage issues in the future if we rescue them everytime from their own miscues? Polical views aside, a wrong is a wrong is a wrong. Good kids make bad mistakes - it's part of growing up and most survive the experience. But, if we as parents disregard our duty to teach right from wrong and show our kids that wrong will often come with consequences, we are failures as parents and our future will be bleak. Want an example? If any of the readers here are responsible for hiring and have had a bit of exposure to what the 20 somethings year olds look like these days you would understand the point. We are creating and cultivating a culture of entitlement which is in turn creating a weakness at the core of our future leaders.....see the current leadership in this country. Our children don't always have to like us but it is our responsibility to groom them, not teach them how to get out of trouble once they're in it!