Virginia Beach parents want to see school bus camera video after dispute with driver

Posted at 2:55 PM, Sep 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-23 18:03:23-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - A group of parents are upset with a bus driver after a dispute that happened after school on Tuesday.

"As a parent, I'm sitting here with my heart wrenched. What am I supposed to do? That's my son," said parent April Frank.

Officials from Virginia Beach City Public Schools say that a bus coming from Corporate Landing Middle School had to take additional students because another driver called in sick.

The bus schedule ran later than normal in getting the students home from Corporate Landing Middle School because of added stops.

When April Frank had a missed call from her 11-year-old son yesterday and realized his school bus was late, she thought something had to be wrong.

"He says 'Mom, listen. I'm scared. Please help me.' and he puts the phone down so I can hear what the bus driver was saying, "Franks said. "At that point, all I hear is frantic screaming, cuss words getting thrown at the kids."

Frank was one of the ten parents living in the Derby Run Mobile Home Park that met at Corporate Landing Middle School today to take action.

The parents want to see the school bus camera video taken during their middle schoolers' ride home yesterday  with the substitute driver.

Their kids tell them the bus driver was playing music that had profanity in one of the lyrics.

When one of the students sang the word, parents say the bus driver pulled over to scold the student.

Parents say the kids were then threatened that they would be dropped off back at school but the driver never stopped there.

Instead, she made several other stops dropping some kids off a half-mile from their usual stop.

When the driver finally got to the Derby Run stop, one mom says she made the driver park and take the keys out of the ignition so she could talk to police.

"They were crying, they were hugging their parents, they were purely terrified. A little boy got off the bus and kissed the ground," said Cherly Hamrick.

Police tell NewsChannel 3  the call came in as a dispute between the bus driver, students, and parents.

Because there was no criminal investigation, they won't release any other details.

Parents say the school would not show them the video without a subpoena.

NewsChannel 3 also asked for the video and beach schools told us we need a freedom of information request.

"We can't see a video. Obviously, even if our children are in the wrong, we want to address that," said parent Trisha Fahey.

The school did release a limited statement:

Yesterday, a bus from Corporate Landing Middle School had to take additional students because another driver had called in sick. Due to the additional stops on the route, the bus was later than normal in getting the students home.  As you can imagine, students on board began to get upset with the amount of time on the bus. The driver did pull over along the way in order to explain to the children why they were running later than normal. Multiple students used their cellphones to call their parents, who met the bus to express their frustration to the driver.

As far as police were concerned, it is my understanding a passerby who saw the bus stop and the parents outside called the police as a precaution.

Now, after all of these complaints, the school district says an investigation has been launched.