It took nearly three months but a mother’s quest to see video from inside her daughter’s school bus, where she says the bus driver slammed on the brakes to discipline the kids, has been released.
At first, administrators told her “parents weren’t allowed to see the video because of privacy concerns,” but News 2’s Brad Franko took up the fight.
After 2 1/2 months of back and forth between News 2’s attorneys, and lawyers for the Charleston County School District, News 2 obtained the video May 22nd.
The video shows the driver of bus 240 on the trip through Park West after school that day. On it the driver, who neither the school district or bus company would identify, is seen singing, dancing and even reading papers on the steering wheel for about a minute.
Corina Maybery and her husband came to our studio Thursday morning to see the video. Maybery says her daughter Savannah told her the driver slammed the brakes when children in the back were standing as a form of punishment. Despite repeated calls to the Charleston County School District, Laurel Hill Primary School, and Durham, the school bus company, she could not get a straight answer about what happened that day, but the video told her all she needed to hear.
The driver clearly watching her mirror, rolls forward and comes to an abrupt stop. The children visible at the front of the bus lurch forward, and complain loudly.
A few minutes later, with the bus moving at a faster speed, the driver, while drinking from her cup and hands off the wheel, again slams the brakes and brings the bus to a quick stop.
Just minutes after that brake check a child can be heard telling the driver he hurt his eye during the abrupt stop.
Maybery says after several calls to Durham, someone there told her a chaperone would be on the bus with that driver to monitor her actions, but she says the driver finished out the school year. When Maybery called recently to find out if the driver would be returning, she says Durham told her they won’t know who will be driving that bus until Monday at the earliest.
“School is about to start and parents are putting their kids on the bus and thinking their kids are safe, and if drivers are doing this, they’re not safe,” said Maybery.
Reminders about the upcoming school year are all over the Park West neighborhood. Corina Maybery says there is no way her daughter will be getting on a school bus on Monday but she’s worried about her neighbors, especially those without alternate transportation and especially if that same driver is on this route
Maybery and those parents will not have to worry about that driver. News 2 received a statement from the Charleston County School District late Thursday afternoon stating the driver is no longer employed by Durham and will not be driving a bus this school year.