Officials: Bus driver caught on camera being harsh to special needs students to be dismissed

Linda Pettit/Facebook
Linda Pettit/Facebook

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – HFM BOCES school officials say a bus driver caught on camera being harsh to a special needs student will be dismissed from his position.

Last week, the harsh actions of one of their bus drivers was caught on camera and now parents won’t have to worry about him driving the bus again.

Here’s the video from an HFM BOCES bus that transports special needs students to Wildwood school in Schenectady:

The young boy is 11-year-old Cameron who has severe autism. The girl you hear screaming is Julia, who has a rare syndrome causing her to have tantrums and is also on the autism spectrum.

Her mother Sharon Pasquarella says the issues went further than just the bus. Neither Cameron or Julia were picked up by the bus on Tuesday, and Julia has missed three days of school.

Pasquarella says she was shocked when her daughter wasn’t picked up and was never given any notification.
“I was sitting out waiting for the bus and it never showed up,” Pasquarella explained. “I called and the receptionist said that we have strict orders from the superintendent not to pick your daughter up.”
HFM BOCES superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel says that’s because they saw, what he calls a threatening Facebook post, from Pasqueralla saying not to come near the house.
“Our first priority is the safety of the students and adults on the bus,” Michel added. “We are looking at creating another bus run and splitting the students up to create a safer environment for everyone concerned.”

Michel says he contacted Gloversville special education to notify Pasqueralla that Julia wouldn’t be picked up and says to his knowledge, that happened.

When asked to confirm, the special education department wouldn’t answer any questions.

Pasquarella says the initial video is still disturbing. She says other than that, parents aren’t getting a lot of information, just that they need to see another version of the video from the bus.

“I was very surprised to see that happening,” Pasquarella said. “I was scrolling and I saw the name and I said ‘Oh, that’s Julia’s bus driver.’ Then I clicked on it and I saw what he was doing and my guts just churned. And I heard her screaming and I was very upset.”

Cameron’s mother says HFM BOCES was attempting to suspend him from the bus.

On Wednesday, the superintendent confirmed he has in fact been suspended from riding the bus, but could not elaborate due to legal restrictions.


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