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GAPS bus driver placed on leave after incident on ride home

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bus driver on leave

ALBANY, Ore. - A bus driver for the Greater Albany Public School District is now on leave after two children on the bus claim he allegedly said he would 'put them under the bus and run them over.'

This happened on Thursday afternoon when Krystina Mendez's fourth grade daughter was on the ride home. According to Mendez, her daughter said they were singing 'Happy Birthday' on the ride home and things got a little out of hand.

''They got just a little over excited, and my daughter said it was one stop between them singing 'happy birthday' and him yelling," said Mendez. "He just started screaming at them that he was going to take them all off, put them under the bus, and run them over. And by then, my daughter was getting of the bus and she was just balling."

Mendez said her daughter's friend, also on the bus, called his mother and told him the same thing. His mother was with Mendez at the bus stop waiting for them to get off. That's when Mendez said she started filming as the other mother confronted the driver.

In the video now posted to social media, you can hear the woman ask the driver if he told them he would quote ''put them under the bus and run them over.''

Although the audio is quiet, the driver is seen saying something along the lines of he ''was playing.''

Mendez said she then called the school district and informed them of the incident.

The Greater Albany Public School District released a statement Thursday evening in regards to the incident:

''Greater Albany Public Schools is aware of the video regarding an incident at a bus stop circulating on social media. We are actively investigating, and during this time the driver will be placed on leave. Outside of this statement, we will not comment on individual personnel matters. The safety of our students remains our number one priority.''

''I was terrified. I was scared for my daughter," said Mendez. "I mean, our children don't need to go through this. They go through everything already. They're trying to protect themselves from shooters in school and everything you know? And for them to have to be worried to get a ride from school and home? that's not okay."

Mendez said she will be driving her daughter to school in the meantime. She said the district did inform her that a new driver will be taking over the route.

It comes at a time when bus drivers are already in short supply across local districts. Back in August, the district announced they were offering a $3,500 sign-on bonus for all new drivers.

Despite that, Mendez hopes that does not play a role in the districts decision on what happens to the bus driver.



Watch KEZI 9 News weeknights for reports from Chris Lindsay.

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