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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Judge recommends firing Pinellas bus driver



The Pinellas County School Board will consider Tuesday whether to accept a recommendation from an administrative law judge to fire a bus driver who may have hit a student and then waited half an hour to report the Feb. 4 accident.

Belinda Ivey has been suspended without pay since April. Superintendent Mike Grego recommended that she be fired, but changed it to a suspension after Ivey requested a state hearing.

An administrative law judge found that Ivey violated several School Board policies and should be fired.

According to district records, Ivey told a bus dispatcher that 30 minutes earlier she "may have hit a student that was running late." A dispatcher tried to reach her for an hour afterward, but couldn't. Ivey refused to cooperate with the subsequent investigation, at one point leaving a meeting to use a restroom and never returning.

The girl involved in the accident told officials that she "jumped back, tripped and fell on her arm and was sore but okay," according to records. She wasn't seriously injured. 

The district's Office of Professional Standards also found that Ivey's commercial driving privileges had been put on hold briefly for medical reasons but she had continued to drive the bus.

[Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 11:00am]


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