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School District Says Driver Acted Correctly During Bus Incident

Parents of Three Rivers Elementary School students have questions they want answered about what happened on a school bus.

Posted: Jun 6, 2018 6:34 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 10:49 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Parents of Three Rivers Elementary School students have questions they want answered about what happened on a school bus.

Superintendent Dave Valenzuela said the substitute bus driver did the right thing when students wouldn't stop acting up.

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office says when deputies arrived, a group of parents had gotten the kids off the bus.

Brandy Jackson said she was in town visiting family when she saw the bus drive by.

"The kids were screaming out the school bus window for somebody to help them," Jackson said. 

Valenzuela said the Sheriff's Office and School District investigated the bus video.

"We've reviewed the tapes and what we have found from a district perspective is the driver did follow protocol, he acted in the best interest in the students in terms of safety," he said.

He also said several students were acting up and things escalated quickly from there.

"There were a couple students that really started the situation and created an unsafe environment for riders, and the driver, in an effort to bring back safety to the bus, pulled the bus over and did exactly what we would have expected a driver to do," Valenzuela said.

Parent Amber Rahlf said she was waiting for her son at the bus stop when she got a call from the school asking if she could talk to her son to calm him down. She said the communication about the incident should have been better.

"They didn't call me to say hey I just want you to know your kid is on the side of the road waiting for another bus, that not what they said to me, which upset me a little bit because even when I did get the call to calm down my child I still didn't know what was going on so I was terrified waiting for him," Rahlf said. 

Valenzuela said something like this most likely won't happen again, but if it does he wants parents to know they need to trust the driver can handle it.

"In a situation like that where we have a bus pulled over and parents start pulling kids off the bus and putting them on the street, that creates a much more hazardous situation then if they're on the bus," Valenzuela said.

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