School bus driver refuses to drop disabled 8-year-old off at a bus stop near her home

stock image

An 8-year-old with a disability was left to walk down a dirt road in cold weather after an Okaloosa County school bus driver refused to take her to a bus stop near her home.

The incident occurred in Crestview, which is near Pensacola, on Friday when highs reached the upper 50s and lows dipped into the 30s.

Officials at Walker Elementary School found out about the incident after the girl’s mother reported it on Friday afternoon, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News.

The unnamed driver, who reportedly was new, was placed on administrative leave on Monday.

The mother’s complaint said that her daughter had been left at a bus stop “a long distance” from her home because the driver wasn’t familiar with the area and didn’t know whether he could drive down the dirt road toward her home. That afternoon also was the first time the girl rode a school bus, school officials told the outlet.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident with the State Attorney’s Office.

The school district’s transportation director also notified the Florida Department of Children and Families, a school official said.

Samantha Putterman: 941-745-7027, @samputterman