PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - A Providence school bus driver has been suspended for allegedly allowing 12 middle school students to walk to school during Wednesday morning's snowstorm, WPRI.com has learned.
The incident involved students who were on their way to Nathanael Greene Middle School on Chalkstone Avenue, according to school district spokeswoman Christina O'Reilly. When the bus stalled, students asked to walk the rest of the way to school.
O'Reilly told WPRI.com that as soon as the school department was made aware of the situation, it immediately accounted for every student who was allowed to walk.
"The kids voluntarily said ‘we want to walk' and the bus driver allowed that to happen," O'Reilly said.
Several inches of snow fell Wednesday morning, but Providence did not delay or close school. O'Reilly said bus drivers are not allowed to let students walk to school.
"It's contrary to policy which is why it's bring investigated," O'Reilly said, "The bus driver will likely be disciplined."
Jen Biddinger, a spokeswoman for First Student Inc., the company that employs all city bus drivers, confirmed that a dozen children were allowed to walk to school and said the driver has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.
Biddinger said the driver has been with First Student since 1999, but did not release the employee's name.