Parents furious after driver keeps children on school bus over 'misbehaviour'
A Toronto-area school board is investigating after dozens of children were dropped off at home more than an hour late, following unscheduled stops by their bus driver to quiet raucous behaviour.
Some of the students, who attend Mount Royal Public School in Brampton, Ont., now say they're scared to get on the bus after last week's ordeal.
The Peel District School Board says the driver pulled over twice and eventually turned back to the school last Wednesday, due to excessive noise and distracting behaviour from the students.
Mother Daljit Beniwal says the children were distraught when the bus finally dropped them off at home.
"All the kids were crying, and some of the kids had peed in their pants, and they were scared and they said they didn't want to go on the bus again," Beniwal told CTV Toronto.
Beniwal's daughter, Ananit, said the noise wasn't that out of control. "When we were first driving out of the school they were a little loud but not that loud, but she stopped and then we stopped," Ananit said.
According to a letter sent home to parents, the driver pulled over for the first time due to the noise, and returned to the school after the wait. At that point, the vice-principal at the school addressed the students before instructing the driver to get the children "home immediately."
The driver left the school to resume the route, but stopped again for 20 minutes before dropping off the remaining students, the letter said.
More than three dozen students are on that bus route.
Parkview Transit defended the behaviour of its driver in a statement to CTV Toronto.
"The level of misbehaviour on the bus was severe enough that our driver had to stop the bus and then return to the school, in compliance with our safety protocols," Parkview said in the statement.
The bus company says it investigated the situation and concluded that the driver did everything correctly.
However, Peel District School Board spokesperson Carla Pereira says the driver failed to notify Parkview at the time of the incident.
"What should happen is that once that happens, the driver should report that to dispatch," Pereira told CTV Toronto. "That didn't happen in this particular situation, so that is something we're looking into."
STOPR, the third-party organization that arranges bus routes in the Peel school board, has a policy that drivers must "deliver students to their scheduled destination, even if they display unruly behaviour."
The driver declined to speak to CTV Toronto.
With files from CTV Toronto and CP24