First Student investigates allegations driver grabbed St. Louis -

First Student investigates allegations driver grabbed St. Louis student

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By Elizabeth Eisele By Elizabeth Eisele

( – A St. Louis mother says she got the runaround after trying to report a First Student bus driver who allegedly grabbed her daugther in a threatening way.

Tia Winston is the mother of the 12-year-old seventh grader who said she was grabbed by her bus driver. Winston said her daughter was about to get on the bus when the driver put his hands on her.

“I said explain to me what put his hands on you means. She said ‘you know like if a child gets in trouble and you grab them and yank them up to tell them to behave,’" said Winston.

The student, who attends Gateway Middle School, said the driver mistook her for another student and told her to stop misbehaving.

Tia Winston called the First Student bus company and said she got the runaround and was told the video from the security camera on the bus showed nothing. But she said there was no video.

"The recorder on the bus was broken so no tape existed. So yes, they lied when they said they reviewed the tape--because no tape existed,” said Winston.

Winston said the driver remained on the bus route until she called the St. Louis Public School District.

Transportation executive director Deanna Anderson assured that they are taking this situation seriously.

“We're not going to turn a deaf ear to this … so lets do a few things. One thing is lets either reassign the bus driver or take them totally off the route," said Anderson.

While First Student did not respond directly to the allegations, they did release a statement saying the safety of the students is “a responsibility First Student takes very seriously. We are conducting a full internal investigation.”

The bus driver has been pulled from service during the investigation.

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