Hillsborough School Board to discuss pelting of school bus drive - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hillsborough School Board to discuss pelting of school bus driver

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Hillsborough School Board Member April Griffin says she will definitely bring up the school bus chaos caught on camera by Eagle 8 last week near Wimauma. Griffin plans to bring up the issue at Tuesday's school board meeting.

The substitute school bus driver behind the wheel that day had to pull over and call for help when students began pelting him with gum, paper and other objects on the way home from Shields Middle School Tuesday.

After a second bus arrived to transport the students, Eagle 8 video recorded students running away from the bus through traffic on Crestview Road and deep into surrounding neighborhoods. The district identified four students as the ones who started the incident by throwing things at the driver and insisted they would face disciplinary action.

Griffin has spoken to both the substitute driver on duty that day and the driver who normally handles the route. She tells 8 on Your Side that both drivers believe students in that bus have not been properly disciplined after numerous prior incidents. The drivers say they are not properly supported by administrators at Shields Middle School.

Griffin said the substitute driver told her he complained about an incident back in November and was met with indifference by an assistant principal at the school. "The assistant principal told him, 'I have 53 referrals on my desk already,' " Griffin said.

After reviewing the exclusive footage captured by Eagle 8, Griffin vowed to bring it up at Tuesday's board meeting where a number of bus transportation issues, including the purchase of 100 new buses, will be the focus of discussion.

Griffin told 8 on Your Side that bus discipline, administrative support and respect issues are not written into a major transportation plan under review by the board, but she has spoken to staff members specifically about last week's "pelting" issue.

"It's not clear in the plan," said Griffin, "But there is a plan in their head for addressing those issues."

The Hillsborough School Board meets at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Tampa and Griffin expects a number of bus drivers to voice concerns about a variety of transportation problems plaguing the Hillsborough School District.

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