The Alpine school district bus driver was suspended after shouting at kids that she would shoot them if they didn't stop talking.
The recent suspension of a bus driver from a Utah school district is a perfect example of just one of public schools’ many tribulations today. The nation is facing a massive teacher shortage that is not only leaving classrooms without adequate educators but also buses without enough drivers. So when an unnamed staffer from the Alpine School District near Salt Lake City was suspended for threatening to shoot students, the effects of that shortage were greatly felt.
According to USA Today, The Utah bus driver was placed on leave after video footage heard her disciplining young children on the bus by threatening them with violence. A small child is first heard saying that the driver missed a turn. After that, the staffer in question is heard speaking into the intercom saying, “One more person says ‘Where are we going,’ I’m going to shoot them.”
After making the inappropriate threat, the bus driver is heard sternly urging the children to “sit down and be quiet.” The video footage was taken from a child’s cell phone, who shared the clip with his parent. After the video clip was shared with local news outlets and consequently all across social media, the district swiftly responded.
A spokesperson for the Alpine School district said that the bus driver was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, however, it is unknown whether or not she remains being paid. Additionally, the district condemned her threat to shoot the students, asserting the district’s expectations to foster safe, welcoming environments for children.
While some may argue that the bus driver was likely under extreme stress caused by unruly children on the bus, others were quick to note that this should never constitute the need for threatening violence, especially shooting. The situation is particularly hurtful to those that have been involved in school shootings all across the country. Many would argue that this language should never be used on children, regardless of whether it is serious or not.
What’s more, this incident marks the second alarming event involving an Alpine school district employee within days. A separate bus driver was heard in a video clip yelling at a bus full of children. This staffer was head shouting at students to shut up, as helpful students chimed in trying to alert the driver that she made a wrong turn.
But possibly most disturbing of all, the suspended bus driver that threatened to shoot students may have been carrying a firearm at the time. Authorities are investigating this to determine if she was carrying a gun. If she was, this report will only further serve those opposing the recent uptick in school policy changes looking to allow school staffers to conceal carry guns for safety measures.
Given the fact that both bus drivers suspended in these recent events appeared to not know their bus routes, it is likely they were newer hires. Schools all across the nation are desperate and struggling to hire support staff in schools. Often, it is bus drivers that are desperately lacking, and some districts have even gotten creative and taken to school administrative staff to get behind the wheel.