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Quotes from school bus drivers, new and veteran

August 18, 1997

Some comments from new and veteran school bus drivers:

``You have to have a cool head. These kids will tell you where to get off,″ says bus driver trainee George Pieper, 61, of Woodbridge, Va.

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``I had one group of middle schoolers _ six of them _ who would come up and tell me all different little stories about a new boyfriend, the first time they had a drink _ things they wouldn’t tell their mothers,″ says Tami Buzbee, a bus driver in Escambia County, Fla. ``Half of it _ you don’t know if it’s true.″

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``I had one kid who would start screaming _ making a prehistoric type of sound,″ says Karen Hamelink, who drives special education children in Kentwood, Mich. ``I reached across to unhook his harness and he bit my arm and he just would not let go. It took a whole day for the indentions to go away. It was a year before it didn’t hurt anymore.″

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``This little girl _ she was a tiny little thing _ dropped her stuff. She stopped to get it picked up. I was in motion when I saw her head pop up in the mirrors. She was right in front″ of the bus, says Suzanne Monroe, a school bus driver from Burke, Va.

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