WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton Catholic student appears to have been thrown off his school bus on Monday, May 25. The incident was recorded.
(UPDATE: On Monday, Cunningham Transport Ltd. issued a statement saying a student threatened its driver with physical violence before the driver threw the boy off the school bus. The company also released video showing the events leading up to the driver’s decision to remove the student from the bus. Read the full update here.)
EDMONTON — Students yell in anger and disbelief as the driver appears to shove a child off their school bus, in a video obtained by Global News.
The video, taken by one of the students, shows the driver stand up, grab the boy’s backpack and throw it off the bus. Then it appears the student is pushed out the door as the driver is heard saying, “get off.”
The bus then drives away, leaving the student on the sidewalk.
“My kids were scared … they were all scared, and that’s not right,” said Joanne Lynch, whose 12-year-old and 10-year-old were on the bus.
It is not clear what led to the incident.
“I know, from what my children say, swearing was going on on the bus,” Lynch said, adding it was the driver who was swearing, according to her children. “The little boy got kicked off, questioned it, and then, from the video you’ve seen, his bag was grabbed and thrown out and he was grabbed and thrown out.”
Her son said a student exposed himself to the bus driver, but added a different boy was kicked off the bus.
“I’m not really sure what was before, but it was wrong. No kid should have to go through that and be just dropped off at an undesignated stop and left there.”
Other children on the bus, including the one recording the incident, can be heard yelling and crying.
“You can’t just do that! No!” shouts one. “He doesn’t know how to get back home!”
“What are you doing?”
“He’ll find a way,” says another. There is also a discussion about whether or not the boy left on the side of the road knows his mother’s phone number.
One of the kids says: “he pushed him down the stairs.”
Another student is heard sobbing in the background.
The family that provided the video to Global News said the incident happened on Monday, May 25 on the afternoon bus ride home from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary/Junior High School.
Both Edmonton Catholic and Edmonton Public Schools contract some bus services through Cunningham Transport Ltd.
Global News contacted Cunningham for comment, but the woman who answered the phone said she wasn’t interested in talking and hung up.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Edmonton Catholic said:
“The Edmonton Catholic School District’s first priority is the safety of all students.
“We will not tolerate abuse of any form and will investigate to ensure this does not happen again.”
Lynch said the driver had only been on her children’s route for one month. Lynch said Cunningham told her it was looking into the incident and had taken the driver off the route.
Lynch doesn’t think that goes far enough.
“I think he should not be driving a bus.”
WATCH: An Edmonton mother says she’s absolutely stunned by a shocking exchange between a bus driver and the students on-board. Eric Szeto reports.