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District 281 Bus Driver Asks Student to Pick Up Gun

A Robbinsdale Area Schools spokesperson said a bus driver asked a seventh-grade boy to pick up a gun he spotted along the road. The district is shocked by the incident and has communicated with parents and students.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, a Metropolitan Transportation Network bus driver stopped at a Minneapolis intersection and asked a seventh-grade Robbinsdale Middle School student to pick up a gun and bring it on the bus, according to Robbinsdale Area Schools spokesperson Tia Clasen.

Robbinsdale Area Schools uses First Student to transport the majority of its students, but the district contracts with Metropolitan Transportation Network for some smaller bus routes, Clasen said.

When the driver asked the student to retrieve the gun at the intersection of 25th Avenue North and Irving Avenue North, the student exited the bus, picked up the gun, and gave it to the bus driver, Clasen said. After the student brought him the gun, the bus driver continued driving to Robbinsdale Middle School.

When the bus arrived at the school, Clasen said the driver notified school employees about the weapon, at which point it was handed over to police. Clasen said the gun was not loaded and no one was injured.

At the end of the school day, staff at Robbinsdale Middle School passed out a letter written by Principal John Cook detailing the incident. Students brought the letter, which is attached to this article, home today.

"I commend this student for being respectful, as we teach our students to follow the instructions of adults who are responsible for students’ well-being," Cook said in his letter. "However, this was not a safe situation and the district has been working throughout the day with both police and MTN in order to fully address this serious matter."

Clasen told Patch the district will never employ the bus driver again. WCCO reported the bus driver was "no longer an employee" of Metropolitan Transportation Network, but Clasen couldn't confirm that. When Patch called Metropolitan Transportation Network, a representative said that the company had "no comment."

"This has never happened before," Clasen said. "I encourage families to talk to their students about situations that may arise where the students may feel uncomfortable."

cathy November 09, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Yes. I think the bus driver had good intentions. He didn't want the gun to be found by someone and used to hurt someone. I think he was just trying to get the gun to deliver it safely to the authorities. He is only guilty of using poor judgement and should have stopped the bus and gotten the gun himself.
Angela Briggs November 09, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I also think he had good intentions. But unfortunately this man even if he had gotten out himself, would still probably be getting fired for bringing a gun on a school bus. He was lacking common sense for sure, but it is unfortunate the school, and the bus company have not said one positive thing about this man's good intention of getting the gun off of the street and turning it in. Someone should be applauding him for that. Instead of being fired, and blamed, maybe he should be taking some bus safety and gun courses. Common sense would tell most adults you do not have children pick up guns and also if you have not had gun safety courses you should not be handling a gun either. He should of stopped the bus, kept the kids inside and dialed 911 and and waited til they came. The bus company employed this man, and although people make bad choices all on their own, where was the proper training for this employee on child safety?
William Johnson November 09, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I would hope most people would know the proper thing to do would have been to get off the bus with the kids safely inside, call 911 and wait for police to get there. Once it is known a gun is at a bus stop, it would most likely be a 2-3 minute wait. Although this driver lacked some common sense, he clearly had good intentions. A suspension with some child safety/endangerment education would solve the problem. You'd think the SCHOOL DISTRICT would know the value of education.

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