Ipswich Bus Driver Defends Decision To Leave Bus

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.

  • Italo

    I feel this principal was looking out more for his job and kissing up politically correctly, than using common sense. This guy thought he saw violence occurring and made a decision that I believe he thought out in a situation he determined he was in control of. What next, a driver stops the bus to pull apart 2 kids fighting on the bus and gets called on the carpet because s/he isn’t in two places at the same time when a couple of other kids open the handle and get off the bus when nobody’s looking? Tell the parents not to have kids or to take time from their jobs to drive the kids back and forth to their schools then. We’ve become a society where we give nobody a second chance and unforgivingly want to ruin/peg them for the rest of their lives. I applaud the driver’s good intentions and his company being supportive of him, too.

  • PL

    A completely baseless overreaction by the principal.Maybe it’s time to look at his record.

  • Paul Seavey

    knee jerk politically correct decision on the part of the principal, without thought or evaluation or appreciation for the complexities of real world decisions. This is the person in charge of the Ipswich’s children

  • SMD

    He can drive my kids to school any time. He set a great example for the kids by taking immediate action in this situation as opposed to looking the other way. The principle is an idiot on a power trip. Exaggerated political correctness at its best.

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