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Bend bus driver returns ‘rowdy’ students to school, some parents angry

(Update: Adding video, comments, letter sent to Pine Ridge families)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A letter was sent home to parents of students at Pine Ridge Elementary School about a school bus incident Monday as some voiced their frustrations about what took place.

A video was posted Monday night on the NextDoor app, showing the driver stepping out of the school bus. The video showed the students crying as they got off the bus, and a school employee trying to guide the children back into the school.

The description for the video says the school bus stopped after the Murphy Road and Brookswood Boulevard roundabout and sat idle for about seven minutes before the driver turned around and headed back to the school.

“All I wanted was for someone to come and calm them down,” the bus driver said in the video to a school employee. “This is ridiculous.”

Comments on the NextDoor video post included mixed reactions, saying the situation was stressful for both the children and the bus driver.

“Bus drivers should have aides to help control the kids," one commenter said.

“We have had several issues with kids being disrespectful," another person said. "I feel there should be a monitor on the bus."

NewsChannel 21 received a copy of the following letter sent home Monday evening to families of Pine Ridge Elementary students:

"Pine Ridge Families,

"This afternoon, your students' bus was significantly delayed as a result of students' rowdy behavior on board.  Your driver, in an effort to ensure the safety of all students, returned the bus back to school where students were unloaded by staff and law enforcement.  With order reestablished, students were re-boarded and continued their route home.  In all, riders were delayed about one hour this afternoon.

"The safety of our students is a high priority for all of us at Pine Ridge Elementary School and in our transportation department.  It is my hope that by working together, we can help to reinforce to our student the importance of helping to keep a calm, orderly environment while on their bus ride to and from home and school.

"I want to use this situation as an opportunity for a teachable moment and to share with you our bus code of conduct and student code of conduct.  

"Please take some time tonight to chat with your students(s) about appropriate behavior on our buses and in the classroom and the potential consequences of violating these policies.

"Thank you, everyone, for your patience and understanding.  We are continuing to work with Transportation to fully investigate this incident and make improvements."

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.


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