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Pinellas school bus driver fired for incident that injured student

LARGO — The Pinellas County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to fire a bus driver who may have hit a student with her bus and then waited a half hour to report the Feb. 4 incident.

Belinda Ivey, 40, has been suspended without pay since April. Superintendent Mike Grego had recommended that she be fired, but changed it to a suspension pending Ivey's appeal to the state. Her appeal was unsuccessful; an administrative law judge found that Ivey violated several board policies.

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.

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

Ivey refused to cooperate with the subsequent investigation, at one point leaving a meeting to use a restroom and never returning. Neither she or her lawyer attended Tuesday's meeting.

Cara Fitzpatrick can be reached at cfitzpatrick@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8846. Follow her on Twitter @Fitz_ly

Pinellas school bus driver fired for incident that injured student 09/24/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:25pm]
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