DENVER (CBS4) – Parents of students in Denver Public Schools who are concerned about a violent incident on a school bus met with the superintendent in a closed-door meeting on Thursday night. They said that while they were grateful to have a private discussion, they didn’t learn much about the investigation into exactly what happened.
“I’m deeply committed to making sure we do a better job at de-escalating situations that don’t need to get out of hand like that,” said Superintendent Susana Cordova.
The fight broke out between a parent, a paraprofessional and a bus driver on Sept. 16 and the parent — Brandi Martin, 32 — was arrested. Cordova said watching the incident unfold impacted her personally as a parent.
“You know, I’m a mom, and anytime you hear kids in that kind of distress, it’s hard to listen to.”
Parent Meredith Lindgren told CBS4 said she expected more information to be divulged in the meeting.
“The meeting tonight went all right. There was a large pretense where the superintendent was there, the transportation district was there, an investigator was there and people from the school were there. A lot of what they said was that their investigation was still ongoing, which for parents who saw their kids go through this? That is hard to hear,” Lindgren said.
Lindgren’s 10-year-old son, Tristen, was one of the children on the bus. He says he still doesn’t understand what happened.
“I’m kind of mad when I talk about it that the bus driver acted like that because it’s just kind of like why? Why would he do this?” said Tristen.
Tristen says he resorted to opening the emergency exit of the bus to get off. The second he was out, he says he ran.
“He wouldn’t let us off of the bus. We were just trying to go home and he wouldn’t let us off.”
Lindgren says among other things, she wants a full report and the driver to be fired.
Currently, both the bus driver and the para-professional are on paid administrative leave.
DPS says it’s working to make changes. One of the changes will be new training for drivers which will include cultural sensitivity training.