Substitute bus driver banned by Washougal School District

Substitute bus driver banned by Washougal School District »Play Video

WASHOUGAL, Wash. - Last Friday, 3rd grader Tristen Juarez was on his way home on a Washougal school bus when he says the substitute bus driver started acting strange.

“He was being really rude and yelling,” Tristen said.

On the way home from Washougal's Hathaway Elementary School, the driver started arguing with students, including Tristen.

“He was mad because I told him that we get dropped off over there,” Juarez said.

“I don't see how any other parent could, or any adult, can argue with a child,” said Tristen's father, Giovanni Juarez. “None the less, if it's not their child.”

Some say it got worse.

When the last of the children on the bus wouldn't settle down, the driver reportedly turned the heat on full-blast, on an afternoon with temperatures above 70 degrees.

“They came home and they were sweating,” said Tristen's mother, Amanda Juarez. “And they said that it was really hot on the bus and the bus driver wouldn't allow them to pull the windows down and then something about the heat being on.”

A Washougal police school resource officer saw the bus pulled over, and stopped to see what was going on.

The district sent another bus and driver to finish the route.

Officials say the heat was turned on in the bus the substitute driver was using when he returned it to the district bus lot.

Washougal School Superintendent Dawn Tarzian sent a letter home to Hathaway Elementary parents saying, in part, "All drivers, including substitute drivers, hired by the school district go through a state required criminal record check and receive training before they are allowed to drive our students to and from school. However, upon investigation, it was determined that the driver should have handled the situation differently. The driver will no longer be substituting for Washougal school district."

“I don't think they should be able to be a bus driver anywhere,” Amanda Juarez said. “I mean nobody wants their kids treated like that.”

KATU sent an email to Tarzian Tuesday night asking whether other school districts would be notified about the substitute school bus driver’s actions. As of Tuesday night, she had not replied.