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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Bus driver suspended without pay for allegedly hitting a child



A Pinellas school bus driver has been suspended without pay for allegedly hitting a child with her bus and leaving the scene. Belinda Ivey waited a half hour to alert a supervisor about the accident. Ivey told dispatch that she "may" have hit a child; the child in question gave a statement that seemed to indicate that she tripped and fell after the bus almost hit her. 

Ivey has requested a state administrative hearing. Superintendent Mike Grego recommended that she be fired, but changed his recommendation to suspension without pay pending the result of the hearing.

An administrative law judge will hear the case and then make a recommendation, which will be sent to the School Board. Board members voted Tuesday to approve the suspension without pay.

The incident occurred Feb. 4. According to district records, Ivey told a bus dispatcher that she “may have hit a student that was running late.” Ivey then couldn’t be reached for an hour as the dispatcher tried to contact her.

The girl didn’t have serious injuries. She told school officials that she “fell on her arm and was sore but okay.” District records didn’t identify her school.

Later, Ivey refused to cooperate with investigators. At one meeting, she asked to use the restroom and never returned. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 4:02pm]


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