NEWS

Bus driver loses route for allegedly bullying boy

10/04/2012 09:01 EDT | Updated 12/04/2012 05:12 EST
A school bus driver in the south Ottawa community of Greely has been taken off his route after allegedly bullying a four-year-old boy on the bus.

Ethan Cates came off his bus after a day of junior kindergarten Tuesday afternoon with a piece of masking tape attached to his baseball cap that said "Trouble Ethan."

His mother, Julie Cates, said the driver also told the other children on the bus to say good-bye to "Trouble Ethan."

"I was pretty upset to be honest. I don't want to put a label on my child," said Cates.

Other students on the same bus also had their names taped to their hats — but Ethan was the only one to get labelled "trouble."

"I have no idea why he would have labelled him trouble. We've heard of no incidences from the school. That's the protocol that the school bus driver is supposed to follow: If there's any incidents he's to inform the principal who then informs us," she said.

Investigation to take a few days

Cates complained to the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority, saying if her son was causing problems on the bus, the driver didn't handle it the right way.

Vicki Kyriaco, the general manager of the OSTA, asked the bus company to take the driver off the route until it completes an investigation.

"The next steps are to really find out what the circumstances are from the driver's point of view, find out all the information, certainly discuss things with the parent to find out what their side is, and then we'll take the appropriate action after that," said Kyriaco.

The investigation is likely to take a couple of days, Kyriaco said.

Cates said she wants the driver fired, saying her son's self-esteem took a hit.

"He asked all night constantly if he was trouble, and he didn't want to be trouble and he said 'it's not nice' to me," she said.

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