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Investigation Underway After Special Needs Students Kicked Off Bus, Forced To Walk Miles To School

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A school bus driver is accused of kicking special needs students off the bus, and forcing them to walk to school.

"I was mortified at the thought of what could have happened to those children along the way," said Annique Baston, recalling what happened Friday.

Her nine-year-old son David was one of about four students who she says was forced off a First Student school bus about two miles away from school.

The school is the Friendship Academy run by the Watson Institute for special needs kids.

David has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

He, according to his mother was not one of those who caused a disturbance on the bus, but got off anyway believing he was directed to do so.

"There was some disturbance on the bus and the bus driver was apparently hit with a tennis ball which created an unsafe driving condition," she said. "He proceeded to pull the bus over in Squirrel Hill and he directed for the students to exit the bus...this is just completely unacceptable. All of those children's lives were put in danger. He did the right thing by pulling over but he should have waited for the proper authorities to arrive to gain control of that situation. You do not just leave four children between the ages of nine and twelve in a foreign area, we're in Woodland Hills school district. He left them in Squirrel Hill. They walked to East Liberty," she said.

They followed the bus route they remembered to the Friendship Academy on Negley at Friendship Ave.

When that driver arrived at her house this morning, Baston did not put him on the bus but drive him to school herself.

"My son and those other students who were ejected from this bus were put in danger," she says. "And then for Monday morning for this driver to come to my house to pick up my son that was just totally unacceptable to me."

The Watson institute which runs the school the students attend released this statement today:

"Friendship Academy administrators are aware of the incident that occurred on Friday with Woodland Hills students on their way to our school on a school bus. We are communicating with Woodland Hills administrators, the bus company First Student, and the students involved to learn the facts surrounding the incident and the steps necessary to prevent a similar occurrence in the future."

First Student which operates the bus issued a statement saying this action was a result of student conduct and the driver responded in accordance with policies of first student and the school district.

So far no comment from the Woodland Hills district

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