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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Parents want to see video from bus incident- laSalle Stonewalls

From the Eagle Tribune;

November 13, 2011
Parents want to see video from bus incident
By Cara Hogan
chogan@eagletribune.com

An Atkinson family may file a civil lawsuit against the Timberlane Regional School District after a school bus driver allegedly berated their 11-year-old son.

Two weeks ago, Eric Roux said, his son got off the bus and immediately broke down crying.

"My son said the bus driver yelled at him continuously for 30 minutes," Roux said. "He got yelled at for not having his backpack in his lap and said something fresh. The bus driver immediately stopped and screamed at him, close enough where he got spit on his face. He called him stupid idiot for the next 10 stops."

Timberlane contracts with First Student for bus transportation.

Every school bus is equipped with a small video camera, so the incident with driver Al Lamonica was recorded.

Roux told school district officials he wanted to see the video, but his request was rejected.

District Superintendent Richard La Salle said there are rules governing when these tapes can be made public.

"There's limitations in terms of how the videos can be released to protect the privacy of students," La Salle said. "If we are severely disciplining a student, then a parent can view those tapes. In talking with our attorney, the determination was made that, under these circumstances, we could not release the tape."

La Salle said the bus driver's behavior was "not appropriate," but it was not grounds to fire him. Instead, La Salle said, he asked the bus company to assign the driver to another route.

"I will say the bus driver did speak harshly to the student, but he was not profane in any way," La Salle said. "We communicated our concerns to the bus company and the bus company took action."

Timothy Stokes, spokesman for First Student, said because of the complaint, the driver is no longer driving children from home to school.

"This driver is operating charter service only," he said. "It's field trips, sporting events, things of that nature."

Stokes said the company worked with the school district to make the decision. They address issues like this on a case-by-case basis, he said.

"(Lamonica) has been working with the school district for 12 years and the driver had no previous complaints," Stokes said.

Roux reported the incident to Plaistow police. He said an officer reviewed the video, but since the bus driver never physically touched his son, police said it is not a criminal issue. Now, Roux plans to sue the school in civil court in order to see the video.

"I'm not looking for any money," Roux said. "Every parent is amazed that we don't have the right to see the video. It's our son and we pay taxes for that bus. It's about a right to know stuff that happens to your kid on a bus or anywhere on school property."

Michelle Roux said she just wants to see what happened to her son.

"It's devastating to us," she said. "We feel like this bus driver bullied our son and got away with it. It just kills me that he's still driving a bus."

After the incident on the bus, the boy was bullied by older students at school, according to his parents. La Salle said the school followed the proper procedure for everything.

"There was some fallout from the incident and it was handled," La Salle said. "We feel that throughout this whole process, we have worked in the best interests of the child and the family. Obviously, we are saddened when these things happen. I think we've done a fairly good job with it."

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

It should go up on you tube. Then make opinions. Which "child" was the bully? Both? We need to stop out bullying on all levels and let people be. Life is short.

Ars Longa. Vita Brevis Est. (Hipprocrates.)

Paint, learn French, play piano, make love.

Cut the ego and bully actions. Life is very, very, brief.

THIS IS IT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe some kids on the bus had their cell phone cameras running? Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Here is another case when officials do everything they can from keeping the taxpayers in the dark. All town officials and schools need to get an attitude adjustment. Hope the parents sue and win.

Anonymous said...

Another reason for Atkinson to get out of Timberlane School District. We should start looking at any and all other optons.

Anonymous said...

School Administrative Units fall under 91-A. The best excuse the SAU can use as defense is their attorney's interpretation of 91-A exemptions. Maybe they say it's a personnel issue and or constitutes an invasion of privacy for the driver. Whatever stupid interpration they come up with they will be sued by the parents if they don't give up the video and I think rightly so when a minor is involved.

http://www.righttoknownh.org/Documents/AG%27s%20Memorandum%20of%20Law%20on%20Right%20to%20Know%20March%202003.pdf

If it was my child, and he/she was exposed to a potentially abusive situation, I would demand to see the video under 91-A. We're talking about children here. Not Phil or Frank hiding BOS meeting minutes from the public.

Anonymous said...

SAU 55 is so secretive. Secrets about cheerleading cancellation. Secrets about a bus driver video.

Secrets secrets secrets. Secret budget process. Did you ever see Lasalle's compensation?

now there's a secret people should pay attention to. Vomit.

Anonymous said...

The superintendent is not allowing the tape to be released to protect the privacy of students?? The parents of a minor should be allowed to view the tape. It appears that the Superintendent has something to hide. Show them the tape!

Anonymous said...

I don't think LaSalle has the right not to show the video to the parents. I'm puzzled why he would object, doesn't pass the sniff test.

Anonymous said...

Something bothers me more than a bus driver and a kid. The kid still got a bus ride home. I can't get a ride.

If I have to pay part of a CART ride I don't care. At least I get a ride. But I refuse to donate to the police fund..
I can't get a ride from the Atkinson police. That's the deal. Donate or walk.

Selectmen suck their thumbs, do nothing. They must hate Atkinson elderly to allow this to go on. Like Joe Paterno did nothing when he knew. They covered it up real good for but now they all get thrown out. That's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I [heart] CART, but I have a few comments about the SAU.

Very few Timberlane / Hampstead students ever make it into the state's top ten, but former Superintendent Douglas McDonald has. He's raking in 107K a year in retirement pay. 10th highest in the state.

Is current SAU55 Superintendent LaSalle on the same track? I seem to remember someone in the AR2 stating his salary last year was 134K. if this were Bedford, Amherst or Londonderry, I might believe it.

In this morning's Union Leader there was a tiny article on page B6 about SAU53. Seems their School Board has voted to remove their superintendent. I'd like to submit that LaSalle should be removed too. He doesn't reflect the values of the community and he's too expensive. To be frank, he's not one of us. So School Board, what are you going to do about it?

MAcciard said...

Superintendent LaSalle is the third highest paid super in the state. $136,000 plus benes. his position costs the taxpayers $169,000+

Anonymous said...

We should make his position elected. Then don't elect him.

Anonymous said...

Lets take LaSalle's analogy a little further. I believe he once referred to himself as the "CEO of Timberlane". Gosh, that would make the School Board the Board of Directors. And if you take it a little further, the taxpayers would be considered the inventors. Time for a shareholders rebellion?

Anonymous said...

"To be frank, he's not one of us".
What does that mean? That he (or his staff) aren't involved in the MS or HS PTSA like you (last I looked HS PTSA had ~60 members, including teachers)? That he doesn't discourage his kids from taking AP classes like you (<200 of 1400 kids took one this year). That he doesn't hijack every conversation to somehow bash Phil C. like you guys do?

Look: I'm not saying I like LaSalle any better than you, but for the most part you folks are not involved beyond Atkinson Elementary. Look in the mirror folks.

Anonymous said...

And you can tell who you're speaking to on the blog? Are you kidding? You know who is volunteering or is a teacher, an admin, a Selectman, a thief? And not everyone here bashes people.

Anonymous said...

BTW, my kid goes to a real HS, not Timberlane.

Anonymous said...

So you aren't involved @ Timberlane then?!?! And if your kid(s) go elsewhere: not a Timberlane teacher, admin or volunteer either.

See: I guess I do know you better than you thought.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am on staff there.

Anonymous said...

Weird that you would think that if my children go to a different school that I could not possibly be involved. Did you go there ;) ?

Anonymous said...

once again you guys get off track and like bashing each other. the post here was about a kid and a school bus driver. by the way I know both of them and find this story hard to believe as it has been "retold" on this blog. sometimes parents don't want to see their kids for what they really are....a pain in the butt.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just wait and see before you judge him? YOU are bashing a kid and you are criticizng others for bashing on the blog? Kind of hypocritical don't you think?