Skip to comments.Girl Sets Hair on Fire; Bus Driver Suspended
Posted on 03/18/2012 11:43:39 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Elmer Estepa, 54, says video camera gives better view than bus driver's view
A Deltona school bus driver was suspended after the school board said he didn't stop and investigate a cigarette lighter on the bus, which resulted in a middle school student lighting her own hair and another student's hair on fire.
Elmer Estepa, 54, was suspended for two days without pay by the Volusia County School Board after a Deltona Middle School student was caught on bus camera lighting her own hair and another student's hair on fire in December. Another student also punched another student about a dozen times during the same ride home, according to school board report.
Estepa told an investigator he smelled the faint scent of a lighter and glanced down the aisle but didn't see any smoke. He told investigators that it's difficult for a driver to keep an eye on students' behavior and the road at the same time, according to the report.
The district has not released the video because of student confidentiality rules. According to a report, the video shows the girl starting the lighter more than 20 times in a 15-minute period. In addition to lighting hair on fire, she tried to light a book bag on fire and rolled up a paper pretending to smoke.
Estepa reportedly told students "I know my nose is not playing tricks on me," after smelling the lighter but says he didn't see smoke. He said in his statement that the video gives a better view of the back of the bus than his own eyes.
School Board officials said if "unprofessional conduct" is reported by Estepa again, he could be fired.
The students received disciplinary action, but school board officials said they won't release specifics.
Mr. Estepa, it appears that one of the students on your bus has some deep-seated psychological problems. Accordingly, we are suspending you for 2 days without pay.
Do they want the bus driver driving, or monitoring the behavior of the children. You can’t do both jobs well. If he had gotten into an accident dealing with this issue, I don’t suppose they would say he did the right thing. If they need the children’s behavior they need someone besides the driver to do it. (If he pulled over every time he needed to address something, the children would deliberately have him starting and stopping to get to school later)
Thank you encapsulating the absurdity of this so well!
I’m sure the school district is required to provide transportation to this student no matter what she does.
After putting police in every high schoola few years ago, the superintendent of our school district said he did because ‘safety is our number one priority.’ It had been problem students like this would be expelled, period.
Its for the children doncha know.
I think I’d almost rather be captured by the Taliban than be a school bus driver
Whoops. Should read IF it had been, problem students like this would be expelled...sorry
This would of course be the bus driver’s fault. No sense holding the idiot student responsible for her own behavior! What kind of precedent would THAT set??
Metal and explosive detectors at each bus stop, so no lighters or nail files make it aboard. Of course lunches will be limited to 3 ounce containers. Which won't matter anyway, as school officials will only ban homemade lunches as unsafe AND unhealthy.
Sky Marshall job descriptions will soon expand to that of being Bus Marshalls also.
The students wouldn’t saw your head off with a rusty knife. Well, none have done so, yet.
nice busload of kids
Yeah, but the Taliban are a lot quieter.
they should assign a teacher to ride in the rear of each school bus....they would then come closer to working the 12 months they get paid for. I’m certain that their union would go along with that, after all, it’s for the safety of the children doncha know!!
If my kid was on a schoolbus, I’d rather have the driver watching the road. This is idiotic.
ya know what.. I hate public unions just as much as the next guy... but unless you put 15 observers on the bus, with each one responsible for 3 rows, this crap is just gonna happen... are the unions using this to get more employees on the dole, maybe, but the simple answer in this case is the lib answer... park the damn busses and have the parents car pool... or do what I did as a young lad... WALK...
It would be unsafe for the driver to drive and watch the kids at the same time. Of course I think they should do away with buses. Let parents get their kids to school themselves. Won’t be popular but it would save a lot of money and get rid of these problems.
In a large district they probably don’t have enough teachers to do duty on every bus plus morning duty around the schools.
Didn’t the lighter show up when the kids went through the TSA checkpoint prior to boarding? Or haven’t they started that program yet?
they should assign a teacher..”
I think they should set up a list of parents whose children ride the bus and then have them take turns being bus monitor. If you don’t serve your turn, your kiddo doesn’t ride. Way past time for the parents to get involved.
GREAT IDEA...Have 1 bus at the school prepared to take the parents (or surrogates) home
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.