JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Parents in Jackson are demanding answers after their children say they were mistreated by a bus driver.
6 News has confirmed a school investigation is ongoing.
“She smacks us. She spits on us,” Jamie Wheeler says her child told her of a bus driver. “She’s been smoking on the bus.”
Wheeler’s recitation of concerns expressed by her child was echoed by at least four parents of elementary-age students in Jackson. The kids are complaining about a bus driver for route 104 for the Northeast Elementary School.
Beverly Corser is one of those parents.
“My 8-year-old got yanked up by her arm on the bus,” she says.
Testimony from families who reside in Shahan-Blackstone Apartments. It is one of the stops for the Jackson Public Schools buses.
The abuse took an abrupt turn two weeks ago when parents surrounded the bus. They refused to let the bus move until their kids got off.
Phillip Swihart used his body “as a shield.”
“They weren’t going to let that bus go anywhere with our children,” he says. “They had it. It was enough.”
Jackson Police were present during the confrontation, attempting to de-escalate the stand-off. But the confrontation continued until the school sent another bus with a completely different driver to take the kids home, Jackson Police officials confirm.
The alleged abusive driver has since been moved to a new route.
“From our knowledge, she is still driving,” says Wheeler. “They just need to fire her.”
Corser says the district has to do a better job of vetting the drivers.
“And that they don’t just pick anybody randomly to drive our children,” she tells 6 News, “because at this point that’s what’s going on.”
Jackson Police officials say the investigation is being handled by the school district. When 6 News reached the district, officials said the district was “still looking into it.”
That answer wasn’t very satisfying for Wheeler.
“They’re still looking into it,” she says. “Like how long does it take?’
Swihart was also displeased with the answer.
“We’ve made police reports,” he says, “contacted the school. Contacted the department of transportation.”
But there are no answers on where, and why, the bus driver remains behind the wheel of a school bus.