School Bus Driver Accused of Making Kids Sit in Hot Bus as Punishment

If this accusation is true, all I can say is: don't let the (school bus) door hit you on the way out. An Ohio school bus driver called it quits after seven years after he was accused of forcing elementary and intermediate school students to sit on his hot bus with the windows rolled up as punishment because they were acting out.

Benjamin Spaulding was put on administrative leave after parents filed complaints about him this week. He was scheduled to attend a disciplinary hearing yesterday but turned in his letter of resignation before that could happen.

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Though it isn't clear, it seems like this might have been a one-off incident -- um, not that that justifies his alleged behavior or anything. Kids reportedly complained that Spaulding pulled his bus over on Monday because the students were misbehaving. His disciplinary tactic reportedly involved telling them to shut their windows and then leaving them inside for an unspecified amount of time before continuing to drive them home.

By the way, the temperature outside that day was 90 degrees -- so you can only imagine what it felt like inside of that bus.

Thankfully, no students were reportedly harmed, though that's only because the driver was extremely lucky. It doesn't take very much for a child to become dehydrated and faint from lack of water and hot temperatures.

I'm going to bet that, since the first day the very first school bus began transporting students from one place to another, kids have been caught acting like animals on the bus. Maybe it's because they need a release after spending seven hours obeying rules in a classroom. Maybe the allure of standing on a moving vehicle is too delicious to resist. Who knows the reason. But any educator or person who chooses to work with children -- especially one who has been in their company for seven years -- should have a backpack of tools they can dig into at a moment's notice to help them deal with undesired behavior.

It's wrong and unfair to use your power over children to intimidate and frighten them into behaving. It denotes an inability to effectively do your job as an adult, who is as much a role model as a school bus driver.

Assuming this happened the way it has been reported, let's hope stories don't surface of other times students were forced to sit inside of his hot bus as punishment.

What do you think of the bus driver's alleged punishment?

 

Image via ThoseGuys119/Flickr

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