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School bus service to Gardner briefly suspended over rock throwing incident

by Gretchen Orr

GARDNER/WALSENBURG — Rocks… geologists and children love them, for different reasons.

Many kids must be repeatedly reminded not to throw rocks as they are growing up, but on Thursday, April 14, one student on the Gardner/Walsenburg bus route disregarded that advice and, while the bus was travelling on the highway, threw a rock at the bus driver, hitting him in the head. Fortunately, the driver was able to maintain control of the bus.

Superintendent Mike Moore moved swiftly to deal with the problem, issuing a letter to all parents/ guardians of bus students from Walsenburg to Gardner, and calling a meeting for all parents and guardians to be held at Peakview School cafeteria on Monday, April 25, Moore said “This was a very serious incident that could have resulted in a horrible outcome that none of us could fathom or live with without pain or tremendous amount of guilt.”

Moore apologized for the perceived late notification of bus cancellation for two days, and said, “notification was provided only after inquiries were made to discover facts not falsehoods and attempt to identify the student or students involved in the incident. I also apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you as a parent or guardian.”

The bus resumed normal operation Thursday, April 21.

A few things have come to light as a result of this incident. There have been numerous other issues and behavior issues on this particular bus route that must be stopped immediately. Accordingly a digital video camera is being installed to deter negative behaviors and identify individuals acting inappropriately. The district will also discuss placing a volunteer or paid bus monitor on the route.

Lastly, Moore emphasized in his letter, “None of us can allow negative behaviors to continue that could impact our children’s lives in ways we don’t want to imagine.”

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