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Outrage over bus driver texting behind the wheel

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CENTRAL HIGH, Okla._ Parents here are outraged that a school bus driver that was photographed texting and driving still has his job.

The parents frustration doesn't stop there, either; they say the bus driver is also pictured parked on the side of the road sweeping trash out of the bus while students watched from inside.

"When I leave that house to go to work I shouldn't have to worry …," says Tamela Heaton, who puts two of her kids on that bus every morning.

She says his behavior is inexcusable: "How many chances do you give this man? Are you going to wait until the bus is flipped over on the side of the road for them to say ‘enough is enough, we've got to do something.' I don't want to see it come to that," says Heaton.

One parent, Angela Best, was so concerned she presented the issue at the Dec. 8 school board meeting. Since then, however, including at this week's most recent school board meeting, nothing has been done about the issue. Parents say the proof is in the black and white.

"There's a photo, there is evidence right there," Heaton says. "It shouldn't take any more than that."

Heaton and Best both say the best result for the safety of their children would be for the bus driver to be replaced.

"That should be the top priority, the safety of our children and I don't feel like that is right now because nothing has been done about it," says Heaton.

Parents also say after the Dec. 8 board meeting when the driver was reprimanded, he started pulling the bus over to the side of road and composing his text messages. The driver also allegedly threatened the kids on the bus saying he would find out sooner or later who took those pictures.

Bennie Newton, Central High superintendent, said over the phone that he would not comment on the ongoing investigation because it involves on of the district's employees.

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