Westport school bus driver investigated after outburst
Published 1:06 pm, Friday, October 19, 2012
The driver of a Westport school bus carrying Coleytown Middle School students is off the job as of Friday while police and school officials investigate what some parents are calling an outburst that terrified some of the students Thursday afternoon.
Police Capt. Sam Arciola on Friday confirmed that police are looking into the incident, where parents reported that the driver's inappropriate behavior unsettled some students so much that they got off the bus before their scheduled stops on the ride home.
A "number of people" of people have been named as witnesses in the investigation, Arciola added. He did not confirm whether any arrest or charges had been made against the driver as of Friday.
While Arciola declined to disclose details of the incident, one parent of a Coleytown student on the bus Thursday afternoon told the Westport News that the driver made profane and sexually charged comments in front of the middle-school students.
The driver both cursed and used sexual vulgarity, the parent said, as well as acting in a bullying manner toward the students. At one point, the parent said, the man told the passengers, "I'm 185 pounds of muscle and I could wipe up the floor with you."
The driver, however, did not physically harm or touch any students on the bus, according to the parent.
The parent's child had not reported any inappropriate behavior by the driver before the Thursday incident.
"This driver will not be driving for us until there is a resolution to the investigation," said Nancy Harris, the Westport public schools' assistant superintendent for business. "Depending on what we find in the investigation, obviously that will inform our decision about what actions to take. We are meeting with school staff.
"This is a serious investigation," Harris added. "We clearly take any kind of incident such as this very seriously. As a result of that, this investigation will be comprehensive."
A spokesman for DATTCO, the school district transportation provider, was not immediately available for comment Friday.