Monday, August 05, 2013

Bus driver in FL follows the rules, waits for police and doesn't intervene in violent incident on school bus; when do we expect people to "step up" with their own lives (to "protect" children)?

There are a lot of opinions floating about the reaction of a 64-year-old school bus driver in Pinellas, FL in July.  

When several fifteen year old boys attacked a 13 year old, the driver radioed for police help, as instructed by school district policy, but did not intervene physically. 

Some school districts do not allow school bus drivers to intervene at all physically without police, but this school district does. 

Police actually referred the case to a county attorney on the theory that the bus driver could be prosecuted for child neglect for not defending the kids physically, but the county attorney said that such charges were not appropriate. 

Attorneys have pointed out that there would be considerable legal and physical risk in intervening.
On the other hand, some people see not intervening to protect children as “cowardly” and think that all citizens are morally obliged to step up in such circumstances, even at the risk of their own lives, to protect children.  But the law usually doesn’t require it. 

A Tampa Bay newspaper has a detailed news story Aug. 1, here
The bus driver is John Moody, and he was interviewed on CNN Monday night, with a preliminary story (by Pamela Brown) here.  The Gulfport police chief did say that the bus driver did have an opportunity to intervene  
When I was substitute teaching a few years ago, there were lots of jobs in northern Virginia for school bus drivers.  I thought I would never be able to deal with disciplinary emergencies like this. 

The only YouTube videos right now were “right wing” style videos emphasizing the horror of the crime and blaming the bus driver for not taking more risks himself to stop it.  

Moody retired from the job.

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