Huntsville police give details on school bus incident
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville police and the city school system’s bus company are investigating claims from students about an incident on a bus Tuesday afternoon.
Police say the bus driver admitted skipping bus stop destinations, telling them he did so because the children were being disruptive and unruly. The bus driver pulled over on Sparkman Drive near Pulaski Pike and called the police to get help with the situation.
Video quickly began circulating on social media of elementary school-aged children attempting to explain to parents that the bus driver had tried to kidnap them. Police say they are investigating the claims but at this time they believe the claims were exaggerated.
Huntsville City Schools released the following statement about the incident:
“Huntsville City Schools is aware of an issue with an Apple Bus Driver that occurred this afternoon. HCS district staff responded to the situation to provide assistance and ensure that another bus was dispatched so that all kids could be safely transported home. HCS expects Apple Bus to provide a quick resolution to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.”
Apple Bus company also released a statement on the situation.
“Student safety is our top priority. Apple Bus has a full safety program in place to protect students and requires that all employees follow these policies to their fullest as part of maintaining their employment. Claims of deviations from procedures are investigated promptly. We are investigating a possible incident on one of our buses and will take all appropriate actions after that claim has been investigated.”
WHNT News 19 contacted Michelle Watkins, who represents that area of Huntsville on the Huntsville City Schools Board of Education. She said the district has notified Apple Bus of the incident. She says the director of the bus company’s local office, along with resource officers and the district’s Director of Transportation even went out to the site on Sparkman Drive to investigate what happened.
Watkins said while all parties work to figure out what exactly happened, she wants parents to know the district administration and board members have students’ best interests in mind. She has asked Apple Bus Company representatives to come to the upcoming Board of Education meeting to answer board members’ questions about the incident. She said the company is aware of their frustrations following the incident.