Friday, November 26, 2010

Woodland Hills Makes National News

I've given Express a hard time lately for various errors into their publication. Apparently, they got their revenge by featuring my school district on page 2.

I did some research, and sure enough, a bus driver for my former junior high school stopped at a police station to quiet the kids down. Lovely. Here's the entire story courtesy of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Woodland Hills school officials said yesterday they will discipline students who got so rowdy on an after-school bus ride the driver took them to the Swissvale police station.

The unnamed driver for A.J. Myers and Sons drove to the station Friday when the group of junior high students refused to settle down, said school district spokeswoman Maria McCool. The driver resumed the route without incident after officers spoke with the kids, McCool said.

"There were kids on board who were acting inappropriately," McCool said. "The bus driver felt they were out of control. They weren't listening to him. He felt it was an unsafe situation, so he stopped at the police station. The police came out, and when the police came out, they calmed down."

Swissvale police would not comment. The bus company did not return a call for comment.

McCool said 35 students were heading home on the bus after basketball tryouts and cheerleading at Woodland Hills Junior High in Swissvale about 5 p.m. The bus was close to the police station when a disturbance broke out, and the driver decided on his own to stop at the station.

McCool said students made threats, but she did not know whether they threatened the driver or each other. Police did not cite any students.

Although several children decided to walk home from the police station, McCool said nobody was ejected from the bus, and all were offered a ride home. She said the walkers had an option to call their parents from the police station.

The district was investigating the incident, and McCool could not provide estimates for how many students were involved or how many walked home. She said the district would identify the offending students and punish them based on the disrict's conduct policy. Junior high Principal Dawn Golden will determine punishment.

Earlier this year, Swissvale police arrested 11 students for fighting in the junior high parking lot, and police agencies reported they were called numerous times to Woodland Hills buildings.

"It's a privilege to ride the activities bus," McCool said. "This is not a service that everyone is just entitled to. You can lose bus privileges if you don't behave. We just want everyone to know that when there's this kind of problem on the bus, we will not tolerate it."

In other news, good luck to the Woodland Hills High School football team in the WPIAL Quad A Championship against North Allegheny on Saturday. Go Wolverines (as long as you're behaved on the bus)!

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