School bus incident was just confusion

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A misunderstanding between an Albert Lea Bus Co. driver and a student on his bus Friday afternoon resulted in the driver calling Albert Lea police to the bus.

Albert Lea Police Department Lt. Jeff Strom said the driver of Bus 344 reportedly thought there was a student riding who had not received permission to be on there. When the driver asked to talk to the student about the situation, the student was reportedly not cooperative, and the driver radioed for backup.

The driver later found out the student had permission to be on the bus.

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Albert Lea Bus Co. General Manager Richard Polley said the bus was filled mainly with middle school students at the time of the incident, though there were a few elementary students on the bus as well.

Police were called to assist while the bus was pulled over near the intersection of Clark Street and Newton Avenue. The call came into police just after 3:30 p.m.

Polley said some of the children called their parents while they were waiting for the situation to get resolved, and their parents picked them up.

Some others even got off the bus and started walking home.

Polley estimated by the time the driver had finished with his route Friday the incident had pushed him back about 15 minutes late.

He also noted that because of the incident, the driver has been switched to a different route to avoid any further potential conflict on the bus.