OLYMPIA, Washington (KING) – The Olympia, Washington School District has taken a bus driver off the job, after a disabled student accuses him of verbally abusing her.
The girl’s mother says she was heartbroken when she saw video of the incident.
“She says ‘Mommy, he’s mean to me. He says things.’ And I’m like ‘Mariah, go into your room and take a breath.’ I’m thinking she doesn’t want to follow directions,” said Louanne Bay.
Bay says her 14-year-old daughter is developmentally delayed — an 8th grader who thinks more like a 4th grader. So, her family dismissed some of the complaints Mariah made about her school bus driver, until Washington Middle School administrators called Thursday, saying there had been an incident on the way to school.
“The bus driver’s supervisor let me see the video and it was hard. I started to cry when the bus driver was laughing saying he was going to bring a bee hive on the bus,” said Bay, who says her daughter who has a fear of bees.
“You can see Mariah, she’s at the back of the bus and she’s saying ‘Bob, can you please turn down the radio?’ and he’s sitting there laughing,” said Bay. “Actually encouraging her peer students to bully her and just laughing about it.”
The district called the verbal exchange inappropriate and put the driver on leave while it conducts an investigation.
Bay wonders how long it’s been going on and what impact it’s had on her daughter’s troubles at school.
“She’s been telling them she’s scared,” said Bay. “How much of this is from him abusing her and that’s why she’s not going to school?”