A Florida Keys bus driver pulled over on the side of the Overseas Highway last week and told about 10 public schoolchildren to find their own rides home.
But what caused the driver to park the bus is up for debate.
The driver on April 5 pulled the school bus over on Summerland Key after kids were being rowdy and said, “OK, get out. All of you get off the bus.” That’s according one student on the bus and her family who didn’t want to be named.
A boy on the bus told the driver he could not kick everyone off the bus, and the driver replied, “This is as far as I'm going to go,” the student reported.
The Monroe County School District, though, is telling a different version of what happened.
The district says the driver was suffering a medical emergency and pulled over to call for an ambulance.
“He was feeling light-headed and he pulled off the road,” Superintendent Mark Porter said Monday. “The second decision was incorrect: He suggested the kids call parents to be picked up for a ride home. The right protocol is to call in and get a substitute driver.”
The district did not respond to several requests to release the driver’s name or personnel records, and did not say whether he is back at his job as a bus mechanic and substitute driver.
Porter said there was some student misconduct on the bus but that was not why the driver pulled over on the highway.
Porter also said no students were left stranded on U.S. 1.
“Everybody got home,” Porter said. “A couple students remained on the bus. I don’t think there was ever a situation where students were left unsupervised. He just didn’t follow the right protocol.”
The driver was checked out physically and was doing fine on Monday, Porter said.
FlKeysNews staff writer David Goodhue contributed to this report, which will be updated as more information becomes available.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen