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Decision Number
School Bus Driver Authorization
Charles Vestal
Troy & Laura Hatcher
Full Text

Appellees are the parents of an elementary-aged student who rides Appellant's bus. Appellant has been operating a school bus for the District for one year. Appellees' son has "bullied" and "picked on" children younger and/or smaller than he during the course of the year.

On 2 separate occasions Appellant was asked by other children on his bus to cover the lens of the camera that is mounted inside the bus so that a child could strike Appellees' son. Both times, Appellant complied, knowing that Appellees' son would be struck. On another occasion, Appellees' son was made to sit on the top step of the bus until the bus traveled the remaining distance to his attendance center. Although Appellees' son was not hurt due to the actions of Appellant and although no criminal charges were filed, public offenses were committed. The aiding and abetting of assaults against a child is relevant to Appellant's driving ability; ALL school employees must safeguard the safety of the children in their care.

After learning of the incidents on the bus, Appellees filed a complaint with the school district. Dissatisfied with the action taken by the district, Appellees filed under rule 281 IAC 43.24. A hearing was set to determine whether the authorization should be denied or revoked.

Although Appellees' son was not injured in any of the 3 incidents, he was twice assaulted (as deined by the Iowa Criminal Code) and unnecessarily exposed to a substantial risk of harm. All 3 of the incidents were within the control of Appellant to prevent. This case is aggravated by the fact that Appellant's lapses of judgement resulted not in OMISSIONS of actions, but in COMMISSIONS of gravely erroneous acts.

Revocation is the appropriate sanction. Therefore, the Department ordered that Appellant's authorization to drive a school bus must be revoked.