Bus driver fired after alleged hitting incident, Middleton-Cross Plains district says

October 9, 2018

A bus driver for the Middleton-Cross Plains School District was cited for disorderly conduct and was fired from his job after a 10-year-old passenger on his bus alleged that he slapped her last month.

Dane County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said Tuesday, however, that a review of video from the bus found that the actions of the driver, Thomas W. Armour, 51, of Cross Plains, did not rise to the level of abuse. Instead, she said, Armour was given a ticket for disorderly conduct, which carries a fine of up to $150.

Schaffer said that on Sept. 24, Armour pulled his bus to the side of the road in the 7000 block of Mineral Point Road in the town of Middleton because a small group of students was being disruptive, and he wanted to separate them.

Armour told a deputy that he walked to the back of the bus, where the group was sitting, and “tapped” the 10-year-old girl on the head.

The girl told her mother later at home that she was slapped by the bus driver. The deputy reviewed the video, Schaffer said, and decided to issue the ticket instead of a more serious abuse charge.

Middleton-Cross spokesman Perry Hibner said that while the district cannot identify the driver by name, he said the driver, who had worked for the district since 2014, was fired last week after an investigation.

The district is one of the few locally, Hibner said, that employs its own bus drivers instead of contracting with a bus company like most other districts.

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