Tift bus driver suspended after student drop off incident - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tift bus driver suspended after student drop off incident

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) -A Tift County bus driver was suspended after she dropped off two elementary students more than a mile from their homes.

The girls told the driver it wasn't where they lived, but they say she insisted they get off the bus and walk.

Tuesday was the first day of the extended day program in Tift County so parents were asked to be patient with the bus schedule. Kelly Hancock patiently waited near the front door but her little girl didn't show up.

For almost five years 9-year old Rachel Hancock has been riding the bus to school. Over those years her family has gotten to know and trust her bus driver. "The only bus I really feel safe on is the bus I've been riding since I was a little kid," she said.

But Tuesday she had to stay after school to get help with math which meant she would ride a new bus with a new driver.

Kelly Hancock says she wasn't sure what time to expect her daughter home. She gave the driver directions to her home, "I told her she needed to turn down this road to get to my house and she said the bus doesn't go on that road," said Rachel.

She and an 8-year old girl were told to get off at a stop more than a mile away from their homes. "When she told me to get off I was like oh my gosh why did she tell me that?!  I cant walk home cause it was so far away," said Rachel.

"They dropped her off in a mobile home park where she knows no one," said Kelly.

A scary situation for little girls, "When I first stepped off the bus, I  poured out in tears," said Rachel.

But what was even scarier, was trying to cross Highway 82, "We counted to three and waited for the traffic to slow down and then we ran," said Rachel. 

A family friend lives across the road and was the girls only hope to get home safely.

At 5:30 the friend brought Rachel home. Her mom is disappointed in the driver. "I really want her terminated because she really endangered these children," said Kelly.

"I can't believe a lady would do that to a little kid, a little nine year old and a little eight year old," said Rachel.

Hancock's mom removed her from the extended day program.

The school system says the driver had a list of all her students names, phone numbers and addresses. The girls also had tags on their clothing and book bags with their contact information.

The school board is expected to decide what happens to the driver on Tuesday.

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