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Victor school officials say "unfortunate" school bus incident under investigation

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Victor Central School District officials are calling an incident involving a school bus driver keeping children on their bus "unfortunate and unacceptable" Wednesday. (Photo: Provided for WHAM)

Victor, N.Y. (WHAM) - Victor Central School District officials are calling an incident involving a school bus driver keeping children on their bus "unfortunate and unacceptable" Wednesday.

The response stems from a video posted to Facebook by a parent in the Victor Central School District Tuesday afternoon.

The video purportedly shows parents standing outside a stopped Victor Central School District school bus with children crying inside. As parents curse and shout at the driver to let the children off the bus, the driver steps off the bus and tells the parents that he cannot let them off and that police are on their way.

A New York State trooper arrives, speaks with the driver, and then a minute or so later, the children begin to file off of the bus.

At the end of the video, a man identifying himself as the director of transportation for the Victor Central School District arrives and begins speaking with the parents and the driver.

New York State Police Troop E Public Information Officer Mark O'Donnell said troopers responded to the call and defused the situation with the help of the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office.

"Everybody went on their way," O'Donnell added.

O'Donnell did not say what may have led up to the situation. There is no word on whether there were any injuries, arrests or further action by the New York State Police

“We heard the kids screaming," said Candice Ramos, a parent of one of the kids on the bus. "I heard the kids screaming my kids names.”

She has two boys, ages 7 and 8, who ride this bus every day. She says the bus stopped in the parking lot of their apartment complex, just feet away from the usual drop off location. Ramos knew something wasn't right.

“I wasn’t sure if they were getting into an altercation on the bus," says Ramos. "I wasn’t sure if they were fighting someone or if someone was fighting them. We can’t see inside the bus. All we can do is hear the kids scream.”

She and other parents say they tried to knock on the door but the driver wouldn't open it, or tell them what was going on. Later in the video, one parent purportedly tries to open the emergency door.

“In the moment, I just wanted to make sure my child and all the children were okay and nothing was more serious," said Tea Bellis. She is also a parent of a child who rides the bus. She says they called over a state trooper who was nearby. The driver contacted Victor's transportation department, requesting extra help at the scene. The transportation director arrived, and the students were let off. Parents say they want more information.

“As of right now I’m still in the dark, just as I was when I walked up to the bus in the first place," said Bellis.

District officials said the school bus driver followed procedures outlined by its transportation department. The school district released the following statement Wednesday:

An unfortunate and unacceptable situation occurred yesterday during the transportation of students on one of our buses. The driver, following procedures that are established in our transportation department,pulled the bus to the side of the road because he was unable to establish appropriate student behavior on the bus.
The situation grew so problematic that the driver contacted the transportation department requesting additional help onsite before he could continue transporting the students. The situation obviously developed into something that requires immediate attention from our transportation director and appropriate district administrators in order to establish steps and procedures to try to eliminate such occurrences.
The investigation has already begun.
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