School Bus Driver Took Detour to Punish Children, Parents Say

Broward County Public Schools is investigating after parents say a bus driver took a detour, got lost and dropped their children off hours late at their Fort Lauderdale bus stop.

A viewer shared cellphone video with NBC 6 of upset parents confronting the driver Tuesday night. James Robichaud and his 11-year-old daughter Saniyah, a student at New River Middle School, claim the driver got upset that some boys on the bus were playing vulgar music and allegedly took the students on a prolonged route as punishment.

"He said that he was gonna go back to the school because the boys kept on singing this song, and they were screaming out the lyrics, and then that’s when everyone started to complain," Saniyah, who was on the bus, told NBC 6.

Robichaud said he was on FaceTime with his daughter and saw children yelling and crying. The driver was supposed to drop off the kids at around 4:30 p.m. but ended up showing at around 6:15.

Police in Hollywood allegedly got involved after the driver ended up in the city claiming that he was lost, according to Fort Lauderdale police. 

Charges against the driver are not being pursued as the children were eventually reunited with their parents.

The driver, who has not been identified, is the children's usual driver, Robichaud said. Whether he intentionally took a detour or got lost, he says it's unacceptable.

“They know him. He’s been there since August," Robichaud said. "And even if he was a brand new bus driver, he needs to know where he’s going.”

A spokesperson with Broward County Public Schools said they take students' safety seriously and have immediately addressed parents' concerns.

“The incident is now under investigation and the bus operator has been assigned to other duties within the Transportation Department, with no contact with students, pending the outcome," a statement said in part.

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