A Missouri bus driver has been suspended after she asked a student to exit the school bus and retrieve mustard packets from the McDonald’s off of Highway 58 in Raymore on Wednesday, KCTV reports.
A parent who contacted the station says her daughter was told by the driver, “Miss Bernice,” that she was having “dizzy spells,” her blood pressure was elevated, and that she needed the 11-year-old girl to go inside McDonald’s and procure mustard packets. The child subsequently got off the bus, crossed the parking lot and drive-thru area, and obtained the mustard.
The Raymore-Peculiar School District contracts with Apple Bus Company. According to KCTV, the bus company’s manager, Stacy Hill, confirmed the driver did ask one student to leave the bus, but insisted she was only off the vehicle for about two minutes.
The company is currently interviewing the 30 or so students who were on board. Company policy stipulates students are only allowed to exit the bus once they have arrived at their destination, such as school, home or a school-sponsored function.
The driver has been placed on temporary leave pending results of the investigation, but some parents are saying that’s not enough, and that they do not feel comfortable allowing their children back on the bus with the driver.
The situation in Raymore likely resonates with other communities. Marjorie Jones, a former upstate New York school bus driver, was sentenced in July to three years of probation for placing duct tape over the mouth of a 7-year-old girl.
Jones apologized for her actions but said it was a "playful thing" and meant no harm.
Last month, a special education student was left alone on a school bus for more than four hours in Simi Valley, Calif., after the driver parked and left the vehicle.