Seminole County school bus driver fired after stopping at doughnut shop
Driver left troubled teens alone on bus with keys in ignition, officials say
A school bus driver who was caught on video leaving children inside a running bus while he gets a bagel and soda was fired Tuesday from his position with the Seminole County School District.
Local 6 obtained a copy of the video that got the bus driver, Howard Moore, fired. When the seasoned bus driver pulled over and stopped for a break, district leaders said he put students in danger.
The video shows Moore stop the bus, leave the keys in the ignition, get out, and leave the door wide open.
Moore is seen in the video coming back with his breakfast, and a student can be heard saying, "You got me a doughnut?" Moore is heard replying, "No, I didn't get a doughnut. I got a bagel."
On that Oct. 24, 2012, morning, two students were left unattended for three full minutes.
District Director of Transportation Kenneth Lewis said the students were troubled teens on their way to the Eugene Gregory Academy, run by the school board.
"Just think if one of those kids decided to take a ride on that bus or if someone observing a bus running by itself hijacked it and ran," said Lewis. "A host of things could have happened."
When Moore finally came back to the bus, even the students sounded surprised by what he had done and are heard saying, "Look! Uh-uh. No he didn't!"
Moore admitted he was wrong and said in an administrative hearing "he was not thinking, and had been under a lot of personal stress at the time."
Parents say that's no excuse.
"You have to separate personal from business. That's his job," said Lateefah Jackson, a parent of children in Seminole County schools. "That's what he's there to do, to protect the children."
Local 6 stopped by Moore's house for a comment, but we have not yet heard back.