Arlington school bus driver caught texting while driving

Arlington school bus driver caught texting while driving »Play Video
ARLINGTON, Wash. -- An Arlington school bus driver has been disciplined for texting behind the wheel.

Andrew Cunningham discovered the texting driver as he rode the school bus to a friend's house for a Halloween party.

"My friend tapped my shoulder and said 'Andrew, look the bus driver is texting,' " he said. "So I looked and she was texting, pulling out phone and trying to drive with her elbows."

Andrew's friend snapped a photo on his phone.

"It's hard to see because the bus is moving but as you can see she's texting," Andrew said.

Andrew's mom took her concerns and the photograph to the Arlington School District, contending the driver played Russian Roulette with children's lives by deliberately making the choice to text while driving.

"I was absolutely appalled and horrified," Kim Cunningham said.

The district's drivers aren't allowed to use phones while driving unless it's a 911 emergency -- a policy they're reminded of yearly. Administrators placed the driver of Bus 29 on leave immediately while they conducted an investigation.

"As a result of investigation, we acted swiftly with the maximum allowable action for her," said Andrea Conley with the Arlington School District.

What that is, the district won't divulge but the driver with two decades in good standing was back on her bus this week, much to Kim Cunningham's dismay.

"An accident didn't happen but does a few days' suspension justify her being back on the job?" she wondered. "Absolutely not."

The district wants to make sure parents know student safety is tops on their agenda and that this is the first time they remember a bus driver being punished for texting on the job.