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Crosby bus driver reprimanded for turning off the A/C

Posted by Texas Education on August 30, 2008

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone goes and does something completely asinine. This bus driver was, well, basically given a warning, but if it were my child, I’m sorry, I would have asked for her termination. Maybe that’s just me, but I’ve seen, especially in the news, where people have done far less and have been fired or asked to resign. Nope, zero tolerance, in my books.

Here’s the scoop:

A Crosby school bus driver accused of punishing unruly elementary school students by turning off the air conditioning and rolling up the windows was reprimanded Friday by the school district. Parents complained to the Crosby Independent School District transportation department after their children got off the bus flushed and sweaty Thursday afternoon. School administrators said Friday the bus driver told them she turned off the rear air conditioning unit, but kept the bus’ front cooling unit running. ‘I was infuriated,’ said Jennifer Colombo, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was a passenger on the bus. ‘Especially with all the stories you hear about children dying in hot cars, there’s no reason anyone should be disciplined that way.’ Dylan’s first-grade classmate at Barrett Primary, Abigail Jensen, was beet red and dripping with sweat when she got off the bus, her mother Pam Jensen said.

‘Abby had on a red shirt yesterday and she was as red as the shirt,’ she said. She asked her daughter what had happened, and the girl replied, ‘Nobody would be quiet so the bus driver turned off the air conditioner and would not let us roll the windows down or anything. ‘She said they would even be in worse trouble if they rolled the windows down,’ Jensen said. ‘So here they are in 96, 98 degree weather and all these kids with no air.’ Jensen was livid. ‘I mean that’s uncalled for,’ she said. ‘I can understand children needing to have some consequences if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, but you don’t turn the air conditioning off, especially in Houston with the weather the way it is.’

The driver, Michelle Crawford, has worked for Crosby ISD since March 2007 and has no previous disciplinary record, said district spokesman Robert Tatman. Attempts to contact Crawford for comment Friday were unsuccessful. Tatman said Crawford told CISD Transportation Department officials that she was having problems with the students Thursday afternoon so she told them that she was going to turn the radio off until they quieted down. ‘That did not work,’ Tatman said. ‘Then what happened was that she went ahead and said that she would turn off the air conditioner. You know, trying to get them to be quiet.’ Crawford]said she only drove for about three minutes before turning the air back up, Tatman said. ‘It was just two stops,’ he said. ‘She counted the exact number.’ Crawford will continue to drive while on probation, but if there’s another incident she will be fired, Tatman said. ‘No one’s defending turning the air conditioning off, obviously,’ Tatman said. ‘It was inappropriate and hopefully would never happen again.’ Jensen said she has requested to view video from the bus so she can see for herself exactly what happened. ‘I’m still mad about it but at least they have done something,’ she said.

lindsay.wise@chron.com

“At least they have done something.” ??? What?? What did they do? No, this is unacceptable behavior, this women should not be in this line of work, if that’s all she can think of for discipline. I’d kinda like to see that video myself.

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