School bus driver fights to get his job back - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

School bus driver fights to get his job back

Posted: Updated:
BRIDPORT, Vt. -

Rock D'Avignon says driving a school bus is the most rewarding job he's ever had. But a recent incident with an alleged student bully in Bridport pushed him to his breaking point.

"This little Mexican girl was getting on the bus. I had just stopped at her house. She didn't even get to the top of the stairs and this girl was screaming from the back of the bus. Telling her to go back from where she came from. Learn to speak English," said D'Avignon, a Bet-cha Transit school bus driver.

He told the student he would not tolerate her racist remarks and reported her to the school. He now says that student's family is out to get him, claiming they reported him for going off route with a 6th grade student aboard. D'Avignon admits stopping at the store was a mistake.

"This day and age, with everyone being politically correct, that's inappropriate behavior. I did not realize that. I realize it now," he said.

D'Avignon says the child is a family friend. He was buying her dinner and she got permission from her mom.

"My boss called me up and he said you are under a two day suspension until we can investigate stopping at the store," said D'Avignon, "And I said, you know what, with all the stress that's going on, let's just make it permanent. I'm done."

It's a decision he now says he regrets after parents told him that the children on his route are devastated by his resignation.

At an emotionally charged school board meeting Tuesday night many of those parents rallied behind the bus driver.

"The fact that my kids will no longer get to spend the morning bus ride with him saddens me," said parent Andrea LaFountain.

"Rock has been there for my son," said parent Ben Kandzior, "He has come to meetings and actually sat down and helped me with it. I have a lot of respect for Rock. I've seen the way he drives and he is very safe."

"We all really like Rock," added Anabel Hernandez, who says she was bullied on the bus, "He is the best bus driver the school has ever had. He makes us all laugh."

But not everyone supports him. One parent says he crossed the line by allegedly asking a student if he had a father at home.

"I do think that there are instances where Rock has overstepped his boundaries, as far as what a bus driver should be saying or asking," said parent Lindsay Carl.

The school board members say ultimately their hands are tied. That's because D'Avignon is an employee of Bet-Cha transit -- not the school district.

"It was not a board decision. It was not an administration decision. It was his decision," said Gail Conley, Addison Central Supervisory Union Superintendent.

"We can share our concerns with Bet-Cha that have been brought to us. But from there, where it goes is up to them," said Brian Desforges, chair of the Bridport school board.

School board members told parents they would discuss the personnel matter further in executive session. D'Avignon admits he could go directly to his employer and ask for his job back but says it's important to him that the superintendent asks the company to hire him back.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Hinesburg man in custody after alleged shooting

    Hinesburg man in custody after alleged shooting

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-04-25 03:56:35 GMT
    Police say a 71-year-old man is in custody accused of shooting a female relative in the hand and chest around 8:30 Thursday evening.The incident happened on Richmond Road. The Hinesburg police chief says the man was arrested without incident. He and the victim are long time residents of Hinesburg. Detectives are still investigating what sparked the shooting. But the chief says neither the victim nor the shooter have had any interactions with police before this. The woman was taken to Fletche...More >>
    Police say a 71-year-old man is in custody accused of shooting a female relative in the hand and chest around 8:30 Thursday evening.The incident happened on Richmond Road. The Hinesburg police chief says the man was arrested without incident. He and the victim are long time residents of Hinesburg. Detectives are still investigating what sparked the shooting. But the chief says neither the victim nor the shooter have had any interactions with police before this. The woman was taken to Fletche...More >>
  • Springfield police search for armed robber

    Springfield police search for armed robber

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:00:49 GMT
    Springfield Police need your help to find an armed robber. They say yesterday a white man carrying a semi-automatic handgun held-up the Jenny Wren Café on Main Street. The suspect is described as 19-29 with a slight build and no taller than 5-foot-9.Police say he had a dark buzz cut, acne, and was wearing a red Ecko hooded sweatshirt.If you have any information on the robbery call Springfield Police.More >>
    Springfield Police need your help to find an armed robber. They say yesterday a white man carrying a semi-automatic handgun held-up the Jenny Wren Café on Main Street. The suspect is described as 19-29 with a slight build and no taller than 5-foot-9.Police say he had a dark buzz cut, acne, and was wearing a red Ecko hooded sweatshirt.If you have any information on the robbery call Springfield Police.More >>
  • Arlington man facing an animal cruelty

    Arlington man facing an animal cruelty

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:03:45 GMT
    An Arlington man is facing an animal cruelty charge after police say they found a dead dog on this property.It happened at 2760 VT Route 313. Troopers were at Rick Thompson's home investigating a burglary involving a wood burning stove when they discovered the dog. Thompson told police the dog died from kennel cough but a vet later determined the dog had been starved to death. The 47-year-old is due in court next month.More >>
    An Arlington man is facing an animal cruelty charge after police say they found a dead dog on this property.It happened at 2760 VT Route 313. Troopers were at Rick Thompson's home investigating a burglary involving a wood burning stove when they discovered the dog. Thompson told police the dog died from kennel cough but a vet later determined the dog had been starved to death. The 47-year-old is due in court next month.More >>
  • Senator Sanders pushes for better access to primary care

    Senator Sanders pushes for better access to primary care

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:06:48 GMT
    Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing for better access to primary care for patients in Vermont and across the country.More >>
    Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing for better access to primary care for patients in Vermont and across the country. More >>
  • Burlington School budget one step closer to re-vote

    Burlington School budget one step closer to re-vote

    Friday, April 25 2014 12:09 AM EDT2014-04-25 04:09:20 GMT
    A new Burlington School Budget is one step closer to a re-vote in the Community.The Burlington School board voted in favor of a 67.4 million dollar budget. Dozens of parents and voters turned out Thursday night for public testimony on their thoughts and concerns on the new more expensive budget. A recent audit uncovered a 2.5 million dollar deficit forcing the board to slash about 2.5 million dollars in programming and staff. This new budget is 600-thousand dollars MORE than what was voted do...More >>
    A new Burlington School Budget is one step closer to a re-vote in the Community.The Burlington School board voted in favor of a 67.4 million dollar budget. Dozens of parents and voters turned out Thursday night for public testimony on their thoughts and concerns on the new more expensive budget. A recent audit uncovered a 2.5 million dollar deficit forcing the board to slash about 2.5 million dollars in programming and staff. This new budget is 600-thousand dollars MORE than what was voted do...More >>
  • Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:01:18 GMT
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
  • Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:31:24 GMT
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
  • Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:29:39 GMT
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.