10 Aug 2012

Bus driver who put child in a seat loses run

9:10 pm on 10 August 2012

A Canterbury school bus driver has lost his Methven school-run for picking up a five-year-old boy and putting him in his seat.

Fred Rijbroek, 63, was stood down on full pay by Methven Travel, after complaints about the incident two weeks ago.

He has been allowed to return to work but not on the same run.

Mr Rijbroek says he thought he was doing the right thing, now he doesn't know what he's supposed to do.

The company held a meeting on Friday with parents' representatives, Mr Rijbroek and school principals to discuss what should happen.

The bus company says the complaints came not from the parents of the child, but from other parents, who may have had a garbled account of the incident from their children.

It says Mr Rijbroek picked the boy up and firmly placed him in his seat, after he refused to sit and started kicking other children on the bus.

Once the complaint was lodged, the company says it had had no option but to stand the driver down on full pay, pending investigation.

The boy's parents say they have no complaints about the driver's actions.

The boy's father, James Glass, says he and his wife have no problem with it. Mr Glass says someone must have a bee in their bonnet to lodge a complaint with Methven Travel but it wasn't his family.

Methven Travel says Mr Rijbroek has been driving for the company for five years and is both competent and well-liked.