To the Editor:
In response to the letter from Warren Eddleman and the recent action taken by our school administrator, Palmer Fogler, with regard to bus driver George Keyser, I write the following:
First to clear the air as to the accusation of simply defending my “friend” in my initial letter to the editor, I am not “friends” with George Keyser. He drove my kids on the bus, and I know him from around town and have attended meetings that he was present at. Never been to his home, we’ve never had dinner, don’t attend church together, nothing of this nature. I am the furthest thing you will find from an uninformed citizen.
Mr. Eddleman, you were also not on the bus that day. If you were, you would have known that your statement that an aide was present for the first two weeks is completely incorrect. If this aide was present, I would ask who they were, which seat they hid under and who compensated them for being on the bus, because our school system did not.
The first time an aide was present was the day following the event. You state your child was physically and mentally abused on Friday although you never contacted the school? They contacted you the following week. I would think that possibly taking the time to speak to your child sometime over that weekend may have yielded information that brought to your attention this “mental and physical abuse” you say took place, and caused you to report it.
This didn’t happen. Rather, once Mr. Keyser turned in his demand for an aide before the next route day, which prompted Mrs. Fogler to then suspend your son’s bus privileges; you, then, in-turn, lodged a complaint against Mr. Keyser beginning this process, which spun out of control. You are correct that it is a parent’s job to protect their child. When the school system is given charge of your child it is their job to protect them and to protect all of the children in their charge. And this is what happened that day. Mr. Keyser was responsible for four special needs children, and 25 additional children, by himself with no aide. Your child was in the front of the bus. The bus had to be stopped for the bus driver to re-gain control and keep order, drawing attention (I am sure) to the front of the bus by all students.
I wouldn’t believe that in this scenario, in front of nearly 30 students, Mr. Keyser could physically and mentally abuse your child, and have it go undetected and only came to light after your son’s bus privileges were suspended. Many of the children on the bus were much older kids from Buckeye, some nearly adults themselves.
In my initial letter to the editor, I asked that a public apology be made by Palmer Fogler for the improper handling of this situation. But now after this situation has been evaluated by the Grand Jury of Carroll County at your request and the charges have been found without merit and dismissed, no public apology.
Rather you have suspended Mr. Keyser for three more days without pay? And have in your own letter bearing your signature stated that you determined Mr. Keyser, in a fit of anger, grabbed a student around the neck, picked him up and threw him against a seat?
Not much of an apology in my opinion. Also not much of a punishment, if what you stated is what actually happened. This case was placed before the Grand Jury of our county. They found it without merit. What special investigation ability does our school administrator possess that apparently our County Grand Jury wasn’t intelligent enough to determine?
You may have missed your calling, but it isn’t too late to switch your career!
Kenneth J Joseph
Emergency Medical Transport, Inc.