Bus driver’s request for one student to pat-down another outrages metro mom

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MISSION, Kan. -- One local parent says she's outraged, after she says a school bus driver asked her son to perform a pat-down search on another student.

That mother tells FOX 4 News another student on that bus was believed to be smoking pot. When the driver stopped the bus to investigate, Paige Reid says he asked her son to perform a search on the other middle schooler, touching the other boy from shoulders to feet.

That was last Friday morning, and that mother is still boiling with anger. She demands to know why her son was pulled into an uncomfortable situation -- one that embarrassed the 13-year-old boy before his peers. Reid says it's an inappropriate moment that shouldn't have happened.

“This bus driver obviously didn't know what to do,” Reid said.

Her son was riding to school, when the bus driver pulled over into a parking lot, after believing one of his riders might be smoking marijuana. That bus is operated by First Student Transportation, which is based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, but contracts with various school districts across the Midwest, including Shawnee Mission School District.

“For some reason, the driver thought it would be a good idea to have another student pat him down to see if he had weed on him,” Reid said.

Reid told FOX 4 News her son was the student asked to do the pat-down, searching his fellow student from his shoulders to his feet.

“I just find it incredibly inappropriate to ask a child to put their hands on another child,” Reid said.

Reid says her son felt the same way, but he did it because he was made to, and now, fellow students at Hocker Grove Middle School have ostracized him because of it.

“Now, he gets labeled as a snitch because a bus driver put him in a situation that had nothing to do with him,” Reid said.

Shawnee Mission School District security guidelines prohibit employees from doing pat-downs. Instead , procedure demands that they contact police if they believe something illegal is happening.  A spokesperson for first student bus service, which is contracted by Shawnee Mission Schools, confirms an incident took place, and the driver has been suspended while the company investigates.

Reid says her son didn't do anything wrong, and she's proud of the way he handled a tough situation.

First Student buses use security cameras on the interior of their buses, but the company won't share video of that incident with us, citing student confidentiality concerns.

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