Bus Driver Forced Out due to Unruly 2nd Grader

By Rachel Martin

November 13, 2012 Updated Nov 13, 2012 at 11:35 PM EST

WABASH, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – After 32 years of service a bus driver for the MSD of Wabash County says he felt forced to leave his job.

Charlie Zinn says it wasn't his first choice, but he had to do something when it came to a foul-mouthed second grader on his bus. Zinn says the bad behavior started a couple years ago when the kid was just in kindergarten. Now in second grade, it's only gotten worse.

“It's vulgarity, obscenity, sexual harassment,” said Zinn. “I’m a big boy, but you know some of these little kids they don’t need to hear this.”

One day in October, with a bus full of kids, the child yelled something very offensive.

“A lot of women would take offense to it, let’s put it that way,” he said. “He told me I could do a certain thing, and after I did that to him I could do it to myself.”

That's when Zinn wrote the kid up and took it the administration—again—but this time he got a different response, and the kid was let back on the bus.

“I went to the superintendent and said it’s this child or me, and she said ok. I had no backing from the principal, the assistant superintendent or the superintendent on this issue,” he said.

Superintendent Dr. Sandra Weaver wasn’t able to comment on most things saying it was against policy, but she says they were supposed to have an intervention meeting to discuss the matter with the student and parents.

“He did not like the idea that we were going to have a meeting about the student and he resigned,” Dr. Weaver said. “We were going to work out a behavior plan, things with parents, therapists, the Department of Children’s Services, and the driver.”

Dr. Weaver could not disclose whether the student has special needs, but says the issue spurred a deeper discussion with all bus drivers in the district.

“We want to let the drivers know if the student's on a behavior plan and has special ed teacher, or general ed teachers if needed, let drivers know what a student responds well to and what things are working will with them in the classroom so the drivers and the teachers can be on the same page,” she said.

Although the Wabash County School board formally accepted Zinn’s resignation Tuesday night at their meeting, Zinn says he never formally resigned. And unless something changes, he won't go back.

“If I don't ever drive again, I've had 32 wonderful years with a lot of wonderful kids and I've got memories that will last me the rest of my lifetime, but I cannot participate in driving kids if they’re going to allow that kind of distraction all the time and have no consequences for their actions,” said Zinn.

Dr. Weaver didn’t specify if they would ever give Zinn his job back but said, “Our drivers do a great job and as a district we feel like we work well together.”




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