It was obvious the unnamed driver for First Student, the company that transports Dalton public school children, was fed up.
“Shut up!” she yelled at the 50 or so middle school students seated on the bus as she drove them home November 11. The children did not quiet to her satisfaction, so surveillance video of the bus shows she pulled over and radioed her dispatcher to call the cops.
The children continued to talk, apparently annoying the driver even further.
“The Dalton Police is coming out here! Do you understand?” she yelled.
Moments later, Dalton Police Officers John Guerreri and Steve Collins arrived. Guerreri boarded the bus and noticed a young man smiling at him.
“Wipe that stupid smile off your face,” Guerreri demanded. “When the boy didn’t stop smiling, Guerreri sent him to talk with Collins outside the bus. Then he addressed the middle school students who remained on the bus.
“You want to act like a bunch of hellions?” he asked them. “She can’t (expletive) focus on what she’s doing. What if she turns the bus over?”
Guerreri focused on another young man who was looking away, hiding his face.
“You want to grow up and be a man? Then look at me like a (expletive) man…. Do whatever the hell you want. Don’t make it where it’s unsafe (for the bus driver) to do her job. Do you understand?”
Collins, in the meantime, could be heard calling the boy Guerreri had removed from the bus a “jackass.”
After some students complained to their parents, Guerreri and Collins were suspended for two days. They were ordered to perform 40 hours of community service working with children and the incident was noted in their permanent records, according to a statement from Police Chief Jason Parker.
He called the officers’ behavior “out of line with department and community standards.”
The bus driver no longer works for First Student. Her name was not released by the company, nor did a spokeswoman cite a reason for the driver’s departure.
None of the students were disciplined because school officials said they did nothing wrong.