Bus Driver Suspended After Child Says He Was Shaken - NBC New York
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Bus Driver Suspended After Child Says He Was Shaken

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    Seven-year-old Keshaun says the bus driver got angry after he tapped him on the head to get his attention. Melissa Russo reports. (Published Friday, March 11, 2016)

    New York City education officials say a bus driver has been taken off duty after a 7-year-old boy and his family claimed that he was shaken by the driver earlier this week when he tapped him to try to get his attention.

    Keshaun Kirkland said that he was riding the bus on the way home from school in Brooklyn on Tuesday and tapped the driver because the driver was ignoring him. He told the I-Team that the driver then pulled over the bus and grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him violently.

    "It made me feel hurt," he said. 

     The 7-year-old added, "He said he was going to call the cops when he stopped shaking me." 

    Surveillance footage from a pair of businesses shows the bus briefly stopping in front of the supermarket where the boy says he was shaken. 

    "It's not right for him to put his hands on people's children," said Kirkland’s mother, Shade Kirkland. "I don't feel like the bus company is doing anything about it."

    Kirkland's mother reported the exchange on Tuesday and called the I-Team. The city said on Thursday that the bus company -- Jofaz Transportation -- pulled the driver from the route.

    But the I-Team found that not to be the case. The bus driver, William Romero, was on the job Thursday afternoon. He declined to comment, opting instead to close the door to his bus as he attempted to obscure himself from view by hanging clothing in the windows.

    He and another man then threatened to call the police on the I-Team before they drove away.

    City Education Department officials said Friday that Kirkland's claims were "alarming" and that they had suspended the driver and taken him off duty.

    The department has also launched an investigation into the incident.

    Jofaz did not respond to requests for comment.

    Kirkland and his mother first spoke with the I-Team in the fall about a lack of buses for the city's homeless children.

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