Howard Co. Bus Driver Fired For Safety Issue

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)– Students are left scared and screaming. Parents in Howard County say a school bus driver is to blame and it’s all caught on tape.

Mike Hellgren reports the bus driver has been fired.

It’s all because of less than 30 seconds of video, captured by a concerned grandmother.

Grandmother Christina Walters shot the video of her granddaughter. On it, the bus can be seen coming to an abrupt stop and the doors swinging open.  The children inside, some of them kindergarteners, are screaming.

“The children went forward. Then all of the sudden the door was already open. She had the door open before she even had stopped,” said Walters.

Walters says it has happened every day since the start of the school year, and she feared for her granddaughter’s safety.

“I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to tape this because I’m tired of it,'” Walters said.

Once watching the video, the transportation supervisor immediately got the bus driver removed from the route.

“We’re under no obligation to keep a driver who we don’t feel is a safe driver or is meeting our standards, so if this isn’t living up to our expectations that person won’t drive in  Howard County again,” said Patti Caplan, Howard County Schools.

The bus driver works for a company that has a contract with the Howard County Department of Education.

The company said they took swift action and fired the driver. They praised Walters for capturing the video.

“I hope this brings more awareness to parents and to people in general,” Walters said. “I hope more parents speak out if they see this happen because this is our children.”

Now, a new driver will take over that route. Walters says that gives her peace of mind, although she hates to see somebody lose a job in these tough economic times.

She says her granddaughter’s safety is her top priority.

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