Students on Bus 678 in the Clover Park School District experienced a chaotic trip to school Wednesday morning. Sophie Lindenfeld was one of the students on the bus. She said another student had a seizure and the bus driver didn’t help enough.
“I was yelling at the bus driver to stop because she was having a seizure and he started yelling because I was in the aisle,” Sophie said. She said she was trying to help her student, but the bus driver threatened to write her a letter.
“We told him to lay her down, but he refused me to lay her down because she was having a seizure on her back,” she said. KIRO 7 contacted the school district about what happened and provided a timeline of what they said.
The Clover Park School District said, “Within 23 seconds of the student letting the driver know they were in trouble, the driver pulled over on the side of the road. But Sophie said that wasn’t true.”
“No, it took four minutes for the driver to pull over on the side of the road because many other children were yelling at him that they didn’t care that she was having a seizure.” she said. The school district said in a statement: This situation upset some students. The bus driver instructed the students to sit down and be quiet so they could deal with the situation. ”
Again, Sophie disputed that explanation.
“It never, never, no – he didn’t even do that, no, he shouted at us, he didn’t ask us to sit in our seats. He asked us to be quiet I was trying to tell him to move her to the side so she wouldn’t choke on her own tongue,” Sophie said.
The district statement continued, “In addition to 911 being called, the school’s assistant principal, nurses, nursing assistants and transportation supervisors were dispatched to the scene and arrived within 10 minutes of the call for help.” . Sophie said that wasn’t accurate either.
“Help was called about 10 minutes after the seizure happened, and they showed up about five seconds after Lakes called Thomas,” she said.
Now, Sophie’s mother, Kelly Jodot Leslie, and a handful of other parents are demanding that the driver be fired.
“We’d love to see him gone. We understand there’s a shortage of bus drivers, but at the end of the day, the kids come first,” Kelly said.
The district also said, “Ensuring the safety of students, including their travel to and from school, is a top priority. We are reviewing the protocol.”
Due to this incident and others, Kelly is no longer allowed to take her daughter on the bus. Chelsea Winters, who is also her parent, said neither is her son.
“My son finally spoke up and said he didn’t want to take the bus anymore. He was afraid he didn’t want to deal with that driver because of his trauma,” Winters said. Participants and students say this is not the first time they have had problems with this driver. A parent told KIRO 7 that his daughter broke her hand last December and she asked the driver if he could stop dizzying. The driver then began checking the brakes intentionally, causing further damage to her daughter’s hand, she said. The mom reported this to the student’s dean, she said, but she did nothing.
“It’s like a dead end wherever you go,” Kelly said.
Parents and students told KIRO 7 that the driver was still behind the wheel on Thursday but wasn’t driving on Friday. The school district said he was on paid leave pending an investigation.