Central Texas school bus driver accused of shutting off air conditioner to punish unruly students
BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - A group of Central Texas parents is calling for a bus driver to be fired after the driver allegedly turned off the air conditioning to punish students.
Parents and students who spoke with News 10 said that on the route home from school, the bus driver stopped the bus, pulled over to the side of a highway and shut off the air conditioning in response to students being unruly.
“We got on the bus and somebody was making a whistling noise and he got mad and he stopped the bus on the side of the highway,” said Hailey Wyndham, an 8th grader on the bus.
Students said the bus driver was stopping and going continuously for nearly an hour. Students can be seen in videos shared on social media hurling profanities at the driver. Some reportedly dialed 911 and others called their parents.
One student can be heard on cellphone video saying: “Mom it’s hot, he doesn’t have the air on and we’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes.”
Parents said that despite the students’ unruliness, the bus driver went too far and put their lives in danger.
Genevieve Quinteros is one of those parents who received a frantic call from her daughter on the bus. She says she and several parents began showing up to the bus route to urge the driver to let the students out, but he refused.
“Parents were there screaming at the bus driver, following the bus driver,” said Quinteros.
In a statement to News 10, the Belton Independent School District said it “cannot comment specifically on student or employee discipline issues, however, administrators have investigated last Friday’s bus incident and corrective actions are being taken.”
Parents and students said there have been previous incidents of the driver behaving similarly.
“Sometimes, when people are being too loud he’ll stomp on the breaks and people will fly into the seats,” said Maribell Narvaez, a student who rides that bus.
Belton ISD however says the driver has no reported complaints in his HR file. Parents say they are reaching out to the district demanding that the bus driver be fired.
According to the school district the bus driver had been employed with BISD since 2013. He continues to be employed with the district and drove students to school as of Sept. 24.
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