Parent claims South Bend Schools bus driver is out of control

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – An upset parent is accusing a South Bend Community Schools Corporation bus driver of speeding, running stop signs, and leaving bus stops quickly while children are still standing in the isle.

Mitchell Mace is a single father taking care of three children. Two of them ride the bus to school.

Ever since they began riding the bus Mace has been pleased with the service his family has received from the district and the driver.

Mace is concerned about his little girl’s safety and doesn’t want his ex-wife, who has visitation rights, to grab them while they wait at a bus stop.

 The normal bus driver for the route took it upon herself to stop at the girl’s home instead of the designated bus stop about a block away.

Just before Christmas break, however, the bus driver went on leave to have her baby and a substitute driver took over.

Mace tried to talk to the driver about his concerns and his request to have them picked up at the house.

He claims the bus driver was rude and got into an argument with him about proper procedure.

Mace admits he lost his temper after the driver interrupted him several times in their conversation; he was trying to explain he had already submitted the paperwork she was telling him to file with the district.

The substitute driver refused to pick the girls up at the home, and required them to wait at the corner bus stop.

Mace’s problems with the drive extend beyond the pick and drop off location. He claims, at the conclusion of the argument hey had, the driver slammed the bus door shut and accelerated away from the bus stop while his daughters were still standing in the isle.

There have been other incidents as well. “I was standing right here in the window and watched her [drive] right through the stop sign; didn’t even stop,” said Mace.

Mace’s daughters have told him the driver will often get angry while driving and they believe she takes out her frustration on the roads. Now the sixth and seventh grade girls are afraid to get on the bus.

Complaints have been made to the Transportation Department at the district, but nothing substantial has been done about the driver’s behavior according to Mace.

He has a meeting with the Transportation Department Tuesday as he appeals the district’s decision to refuse the special pick-up location.

At Monday night’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Carole Schmidt told him he could address his concerns about the driver at that meeting.

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