ALBERTA

Edmonton school board says it shouldn't have asked for bus driver to be fired

06/02/2015 02:58 EDT | Updated 06/02/2016 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - A video showing how badly students were behaving has prompted a school board to apologize to a bus driver who kicked one of them off the bus.

Edmonton Catholic Schools had initially recommended its bus contractor fire the unnamed driver for ordering the 13-year-old boy off at an unscheduled stop about 10 blocks from his home last week.

A student at the back of the bus shot a video showing the driver tossing the boy's backpack out the door and angrily ordering him to get off. It was broadcast on Global News over the weekend.

On Monday, Cunningham Transport Ltd. released a second video recorded by the driver, who had set up a camera at the front of the bus because he was having problems with some passengers. It shows the boy kicking and punching a student sitting across from him, then arguing with the driver.

It also shows another boy swing a large hockey bag into the driver's head.

"In light of the second video showing an assault on the driver, we realize we should not have requested the driver's termination and have apologized to his employer ... and will be apologizing to the driver as soon as we can reach him," said school district spokeswoman Lori Nagy.

However, she added that the driver still didn't follow the rules. He is only allowed to drop students off at designated stops for safety reasons.

She said the division also doesn't condone the behaviour of the two boys, who are both 13. They have been suspended from riding the bus for one week while the division reviews its use of video surveillance and safety protocols.

Laura Doroshenko with the school bus company said the driver's video didn't record audio but it's alleged the boy kicked off the bus had also threatened violence against the driver.

She said there has been a lot of public support for the man and he won't be losing his job, although he has been removed from driving the division's routes.

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