February 22, 2017 4:55 pm
Updated: February 22, 2017 10:15 pm

Children terrified after Peel bus driver pulls over after ‘loud and disruptive’ behaviour

Parents in Brampton call for bus driver to be replaced after kids dropped home an hour late. Marianne Dimain reports.

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Parents in Brampton are calling for a school bus driver to be removed from their children’s route after students were dropped at home more than an hour late last week.

Fifty students ranging from JK to Grade 8 from Mount Royal Public School in Brampton were being driven home on Feb. 15 when the bus pulled over during the trip.

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“The bus driver pulled over to the side of the road when she felt it was unsafe to proceed given that the students on the bus were loud and disruptive,” Peel Region District School Board spokeswoman Carla Pereira told Global News.

READ MORE: Ontario ombudsman reviews Toronto school bus delays

“What she did was just wait on the bus for approximately twenty minutes to see if the students were quieting down.”

When they didn’t, the school board said the bus returned to the school where the vice principal told the kids to settle down.

“At that point, the bus driver did finish the route,” Pereira said.

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The school bus route is only three kilometres long and normally takes only minutes to drive.

For parents left waiting at the bus stop, it was a stressful hour waiting for their children. The school board said it sent a message to parents about the delay, but not everyone got the message.

Jashanmeet Dhillon’s five-year-old son was one of the kids on the bus. She said her son was hungry and afraid when the bus finally brought him home.

“He was crying, he was really crying badly,” Dhillon said.

Daljit Beniwal’s children, who are seven and eight years old, were also in tears and didn’t want to ride the bus anymore.

“When they came off, they were hugging me saying, ‘Mom, I never want to go back to school, I don’t want to take this bus,” Beniwal said.

“I don’t feel my kids are safe.”

READ MORE: How Canadian schools are fighting bullying on the bus

Chris Harwood, president of Parkview Transit, told Global News in a statement the company conducted a “complete” investigation and cleared the driver.

“We have concluded that our driver did exactly the right thing for the safety of the students under her care. The level of misbehavior 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,” Harwood wrote.

“These guidelines are in place to enhance student safety by avoiding the risk of distracted driving. We apologize to the parents of the children who were inconvenienced by this delay. The safety of our passengers, employees and the community is our first and most important priority.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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