Pupils kicked off bus after buzzer 'joke'

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 05:00 07/02/2013
Alex Kuiper
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ

FURIOUS: Alex Kuiper, 13, and his mother, Linda Kuiper. Alex was kicked off his bus when the driver ejected passengers at random in anger at misuse of the stop button.

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A group of Christchurch high school pupils were left on the side of the road on Tuesday after being kicked off their bus by the driver.

One of them, St Bede's College pupil Alex Kuiper, 13, said the driver threw the pupils off the Blue Line bus to Rangiora on Tuesday afternoon after an unidentified person kept pushing the stop button.

Alex said the driver told the bus full of pupils that "the next person who rings the buzzer, five people are going to have to get off".

The warning was ignored and Alex, who said he was not involved in the "joke", was the first to be kicked off.

He was left on the northern side of the bridge in Old Main North Rd, a long walk to his Charters St home in Kaiapoi.

"He [the bus driver] stood up and yelled down the bus: 'will you pick or should I?' He then walked down the bus and picked the people at the front who were nowhere near the buzzers," Alex said.

"He grabbed my shoulder and said: get off the bus. I was shocked he was actually kicking me off the bus."

Four other pupils were also ejected. Alex said he was annoyed as he had done nothing wrong.

He later learnt a further five pupils had been thrown off further up the road.

Alex's mother, Linda Kuiper, complained to Go Bus and received an apology, and she understood other parents had complained.

"They said they would talk to the driver."

She felt there were better ways to deal with the situation and the location where the pupils were left to walk was "dangerous", as it was a main road with no footpath.

Go Bus commercial director Craig Worth was aware of the incident but said he did not have details.

"I think the kids were picked up by the next bus but I'm not sure what happened, at the moment," he said.

"But we're looking into it and going through those processes now."

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- The Press

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