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Reading School Board demands answer about bus fight

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 28 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 29 2012 04:37:03 AM CDT

Reading School Board demands answer about bus fight

READING, Pa. -

The school bus driver who was behind the wheel during a wild melee that was captured on cell phone video has been fired, officials said.

Students were reportedly being transported from Reading to Delaware Valley High School (DVHS) in North Coventry Township.

David Shulick, head of DVHS, appeared before the Reading School Board Monday night.

"The busing incident that I know about was an isolated incident," said Shulick.

DVHS officials said it was the site director who decided to pick up extra students due to PSSA testing.

"We had no idea that, on their own, someone decided because it was PSSA testing not to follow our bus deployment schedule in detail," said Shulick.

DVHS officials said, in addition to the bus driver being fired, the monitor on the bus during the fight was also fired.

But some board members were not happy with that explanation.

"I'm just not satisfied because all you did, you're making excuses for your staff's incompetence," said Pierre Cooper, school board member. "And your staff's incompetence put our kids at risk."

During a school board meeting last week, it was school board member, Isamac Figueroa Torres, who initially called for a meeting, demanding that DVHS answer tough questions.

"What are they doing to make sure that there are certain measures in place to monitor and secure the transportation of our kids?" asked Figueroa-Torres.

DVHS officials said changes have been made, including hiring a new school director, two bus drivers, and additional personnel to supervise students both on site and on the bus.

"You have no idea the responsibility we feel on our shoulders managing and caring for these kids. And we take that responsibility deathly seriously," said Shulick.

At the close of the meeting DVHS extended an invitation to school board members to visit DVHS unannounced.