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Ipswich Bus Driver Defends Decision To Leave Bus

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Donald Smith

Donald Smith

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IPSWICH (CBS) — A bus driver who left his school bus full of small children has been banned from ever driving a school bus in Ipswich again.

The principal called Donald Smith’s actions irresponsible. But some parents and even Smith’s boss see it differently.

“I just want to state the fact that I had control of the bus. The kids were in no way in any danger,” said Smith.

Smith had pulled over his bus on Washington Street after seeing a teen being held down by a man. What Smith actually saw was Charlie Hall subduing a 16-year-old who, after running away from a counseling session, threw a rock at his van. Smith stayed until police arrived.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.

The principal of Doyon Memorial School said Smith would never work in town again.  Some parents called him a good Samaritan, others said he was irresponsible and untrained for not radioing in the incident first.

Smith wants to set the record straight saying he is trained and never lost sight of the kids on his bus. He says he stopped the bus, put the keys in his pocket, asked the children to remain seated, shut the door and stayed at the door.

Smith has not been fired and is still driving a bus. He adds his employer, Salter Transportation, has been supportive.

“They felt that again this is something you can’t teach or train and that more or less I was in the middle of a rock and a hard place,” he said.

Ipswich’s superintendent of schools and the principal of Doyon Memorial School principal have not responded to requests for comment.

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