Thursday, December 7, 2023

Newport News students leave bus after driver stops for ‘behavioral issues’

(All News Hampton Roads file of school bus/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(All News Hampton Roads file of school bus/Courtesy of Pixabay)

Officials at Newport News Public Schools are investigating following an incident last week where they say “behavioral issues” of the students led a driver to stop the school bus.

The students left the bus through an emergency exit, school officials said.

On Dec. 13 at approximately after 4 p.m. a bus driver was driving the afternoon bus route with Saunders Elementary School students when the driver pulled over off Oyster Point Road, said Michelle Price, spokeswoman for Newport News Public Schools.

Price said the driver pulled over for the children’s behavioral issues that was distracting the driver — a student, or two, opened the rear emergency door and all of the students exited the bus.

The driver called the city’s transportation dispatch center and staff arrived to call kindergarteners’ parents while other students dispersed, some being picked up by their parents.

“They were just not all in one place,” Price added.

No injuries were reported.

It’s unclear what the “behavior” that caused the driver to stop the bus, and the consequences, if any, the students or the bus driver received.

“All of that is under investigation,” Price said, adding the principal and the transportation staff spoke with all the families of the students on the bus route.

While Price cannot say for certain what the behavior was, she did provide some examples.

“I’m sure it was a noise level or activity,” Price said.

The bus driver is not currently driving while the investigation is underway, she noted.

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