A private school in Fort Pierce, Synergy Magnet K-12, has taken swift action after parents reported a terrifying incident involving a school bus on Monday morning. The school has confirmed that the bus driver involved has been fired following a 48-hour internal investigation.

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Getty Images/iStockphoto

Fort Pierce, Florida

Reports emerged that the bus driver, whose identity remains undisclosed, halted the bus on train tracks as a freight train was approaching, putting the lives of numerous students at risk. Ninth-grade student Madison Cory recounted the frightening experience, likening it to a close call with disaster. "It brings back memories," she said, reflecting on the passing train near the school. "That could have been me that got hit by that (train)."

School but on railroad tracks dangerous situation
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Where Was The Bus Stopped?

According to Cory, the bus driver stopped the vehicle on the tracks at the crossing on Edwards Road while en route to the older students' campus. Surveillance footage released by the school depicts the alarming moments as the bus pauses briefly on the tracks, only to continue crossing as the crossing arms descend. The bus abruptly halts, with the crossing arm striking its top, as terrified students scream for the driver to move.

"We kept saying there was a train and we need to move," Cory recalled. "At that point, a lot of us were expecting to die."

2 school buses crossing railroad tracks.
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How Did Parents React To The Incident?

Upon learning of the incident, parents swiftly contacted the school to report what had occurred. Screenshots provided by Cory's parents reveal a text exchange with the school, wherein they were assured of an investigation. Subsequently, the school notified parents that the bus driver had been terminated.

However, some parents expressed dismay over the handling of the situation. Samantha Hansen criticized the school for not promptly informing parents about the incident. "It sickens me to know that my child could have died that day and that the school does not seem to be taking this as seriously as I feel they should," she said.

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The School Released A Statement

In response to inquiries, Synergy Magnet officials emphasized that they were unaware of any additional stops made by the bus driver and stated that if such incidents had been reported earlier, action would have been taken. The school also stressed that the driver had a clean driving record and that they do not believe the incident was intentional.

In an official statement released to WPTV, the school addressed the incident, stating, "We recognize that this may have been a traumatic experience for the students and family, and we have made the appropriate arrangements to accommodate their needs. We apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused and we are thankful to God for watching over the children through this experience."

Yellow school bus on the blacktop on a beautiful sunny day.
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A Parent Pulled Her Child From School

The incident has prompted Cory's family to withdraw her from the school, with her parents filing reports with local authorities and education departments. They allege that this was not the first time they had experienced issues with the bus driver, citing instances where rules were broken and unauthorized stops were made.

As investigations continue and concerns linger, the safety and well-being of students remain paramount, with calls for stricter oversight and adherence to protocols within the school transportation system.


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