Jamie Swift’s eight-year-old son, Emerson, has been riding the school bus since kindergarten. But last week, all that changed.
The Central Okanagan mom pulled her son off the bus due to concerns about the school bus driver and the way he allegedly treats the young passengers.
“It’s terrified my son,” Swift told Global news, “He’s petrified of this driver.”
Swift alleges the driver is too harsh with the elementary students, with his behaviour bordering on bullying.
“Our boys and many other children have reported ongoing stories around being told to shut up . . . yelling at kids, isolating them on the bus,” Swift said.
“Some kids have been targeted for even just having a foot in the aisle.”
Swift said she’s not the only parent with these concerns.
“I can think of at least five or six, maybe 10 families that have experienced what is going on the bus,” she said.
Global News spoke with another mother, who didn’t want her name used.
She, too, had similar concerns.
E-mails and Facebook messages also revealed a number of other parents who had similar accusations.
Global News contacted to the school district, but the superintendent said he can’t comment on personnel matters.
Kevin Kaardal added that students’ safety is the district’s No. 1 priority and that every complaint is investigated.
Some of the concerns have been passed on to the school the children attend and the school district’s transportation department, but Swift said so far, nothing has changed.
“It just doesn’t seem to go anywhere,” she said. “A lot of parents have come forward with their names, and their numbers . . . and they are just feeling unheard and ignored.”
Swift said she now plans to take her complaint to the superintendent’s office, hoping for action, once and for all.
“We would like him removed off this route,” she said. “I think that would only be fair.”