School bus incident under investigation
Incident involves alleged physical altercation
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is investigating an incident on Friday involving a female bus driver and several students on a school bus in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's.
Ken Morrissey, spokesperson with the Eastern School District, said students reported the incident to school staff after the bus arrived at Beachy Cove Elementary on Friday morning.
"Obviously, when we become aware of allegations that may involve our students, we have to treat it very seriously," Morrissey said.
"In this matter, the RNC was contacted, as well other agencies of government such as Child, Youth and Family Services. It's part of our protocol, and the Eastern School District is commencing an investigation of its own."
The incident involves an alleged physical altercation.
Morrissey said the school board asked Gladney's, the bus company involved, to remove the driver pending an investigation, but they refused.
At the end of the school day, other bus drivers refused to take the students home, forcing the school to contact another company.
Morrissey said school officials tried to work out an agreement with the drivers.
"The principal did have a discussion with the drivers, imploring upon them that this was far beyond the situation of the morning — this was engaging the students at this point," he said.
"They may have dietary concerns, or other medical needs that need to be taken care of shortly upon arrival at home, so for us this is a significant issue and we want to have it addressed and have our students at home on time. It was really unfortunate they were placed in that situation."
Morrissey added the board is looking into arrangements for transportation for students next week.