DALLAS, Ga. — Authorities are investigating after a Paulding County School District bus driver and parents got into a dispute at a stop, according to the Dallas Police Department.
An Allgood Elementary School bus was being driven by a substitute driver Wednesday afternoon when the issue occurred, according to district officials, who are also looking into the incident.
The district said several students typically get dropped off at Old Harris Road and Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway. The drop-off process "broke down as the substitute driver was trying to manage the release of younger students." This backed up the process, and according to a statement from the district, "the situation soon escalated as parents waited at the stop for their students."
This is when the district called in the police, officials said.
Assistant Chief Bill Gorman with the department said there was no fight involving students. Video went viral on social media which appears to show children climbing out of windows from the school bus.
According to Gorman, students within the district wear a tag on their book bag that advises their bus stop exit. It seems at least one child did not have this tag and the bus driver was hesitant to let the student get off at the Old Harris Road and Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway stop, according to Gorman.
After police arrived at the stop, students were able to deboard the bus and a supervisor helped drop off the remaining students on the route. The substitute driver has been suspended pending an internal investigation, the district said. All students arrived home safely.
Police continue to look into the situation while the school district is investigating it as a personal matter, officials said.
The district's full statement can be found below.
"The Paulding County School District is investigating an incident that occurred Wednesday afternoon at a school bus stop at the intersection of Old Harris Road and Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway. An Allgood Elementary School bus was being driven by a substitute driver as the normal driver for that route had fallen ill that morning. A large number of students typically deboard the bus each day at this particular bus stop. This afternoon that process broke down as the substitute driver was trying to manage the release of the younger students. A backup resulted and the situation soon escalated as parents waited at the stop for their students. Ultimately, school district personnel requested the assistance of the Dallas Police Department. The school district is investigating the issue as a personnel matter, and the driver has been suspended pending an internal investigation. After law enforcement arrived and students for that stop had deboarded the bus, a supervisor assisted in the transportation of the remaining students. Thankfully, all students eventually arrived home safely. This situation remains under investigation by the Dallas Police Department."