School bus driver on leave after kids describe scary ride

MANTECA, Calif. (AP) — A central California school bus driver is on administrative leave after elementary school students said she drove in circles and over curbs during a scary ride home last week, according to a news report.

Parents told school officials their kids called them crying and saying the driver was operating the bus erratically last Thursday in Manteca, KCRA-TV reported.

The parents became concerned when their children were more than a half-hour late coming home from school.

"When she made a U-turn, she just hooked it right in the middle of the intersection and went right over the curb," mother Leticia Maravilla told the news station.

Her 7-year-old daughter Sophia was one of many students at New Haven Elementary School who were on the bus that was late dropping them off.

"My daughter was telling (the driver), 'I don't feel good. I have a headache.' And she told my daughter, 'Does it look like I care? You're not even supposed to be talking to me,'" Maravilla said.

The Manteca Unified School District said the bus operator notified district officials of a problem with the students' behavior during the route.

“Yesterday, during a route from school to home, an operator communicated student behavior was interfering with school bus safety,” the district said in a statement. "The operator was asked by the director of transportation to locate a safe stopping point in order to allow the transfer of students safely to another bus."

The children were taken back to the school, where their parents came to pick them up, KCRA reported.

Officials are looking at video footage from on board the bus to determine exactly what happened and whether the proper protocols were followed, the district said.

The bus driver, who was not named, has been put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.