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Brunswick County bus driver suspended after turning bus around, failing to notify officials

READ MORE: Brunswick County bus driver suspended after turning bus around, failing to notify officials
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY (WWAY) -- It's yet another incident with a school bus in Brunswick County. This time, a bus driver is suspended after turning the bus around and not returning students home until 6 p.m.

"For 20 minutes the Brunswick County school system had no idea where this school bus was or where it was going," said Leigh Ann Collins, a mother of a student on the bus.

The mother of a student at South Brunswick Middle School says she's just the latest in a string of parents to have issues with school district bus drivers. She says last Thursday her son was on his way home, when he sent her a text message saying the bus had turned around, but he did not know why.

Collins tried to contact someone from the school district, but she had no luck.

"During an emergency situation with the bus when no one knows where it's going, there's almost no one to get a hold of to find out what's happening," Collins said.

Eventually her son let her know that the bus driver had driven them back to campus, but said the driver then allowed an irate parent to come on the bus and pick up her child.

"Next time the person he lets on the bus may not be a parent," Collins said. "Next time that parent may be so upset that they don't just scream and cuss."

Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman Jessica Swencki said the bus driver was suspended for 3.5 days with pay, in which time he received additional training. Collins says that's not good enough. She says what's most upsetting is that the school district is putting employee protocol before the safety of kids.

"If he worked anywhere else and made mistakes like he has made, he would be fired," Collins said.

The spokeswoman also says the bus driver was wrong in not notifying school officials that he had turned the bus around.

Last month a student from the same school was cut on his eyelid with nail clippers by another student on a school bus, and a week before that a child from Town Creek Elementary was put on the wrong bus and dropped off at a bus stop behind the Leland Walmart.

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