CRESTVIEW — Parents are concerned after a school bus driver transporting students to Crestview High School and Davidson Middle School Wednesday morning abruptly discharged her passengers on Auburn Road.
Okaloosa Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson says the school district is reviewing video from on-board cameras and speaking to “the individuals involved" with the incident.
In the meantime, the driver has been placed on administrative leave, Jackson stated.
A number of parents have expressed concern after the driver allegedly left students on the side of the rural residential street north of Crestview before driving away.
“Once all of the kids got off the bus, the bus driver left,” parent Ron Collinsworth stated in an email. “She left close to 50 kids on the side of the road.”
According to another parent, who asked not to be identified and who spoke to someone at the district transportation office, the driver became “violently ill” and was hospitalized.
Another bus was dispatched and picked up the students about a half-hour later, the parent stated.
“As a parent, this scares me,” she stated. “We entrust our children to these drivers to get them to school and then something like this happens.”
The parent stated she believed the bus driver should have waited for the replacement bus to arrive.
Jackson said in a statement that the district immediately began an investigation “the moment we received word of the situation.”
“I assure you this matter will be dealt with quickly, but in accordance with school board policy,” Jackson stated. “As a parent and grandparent, I assure you, your student's safety is our top concern.”