Dale Wille has been a bus driver with Waterloo school for three years. On Sept. 12, an altercation made him lose his route.
"I had a conflict with some students on my bus that basically had been reprimanded twice already," said Wille.
Wille said some students were causing trouble, and he stopped the bus and told the students to sit in the front. He admits he may have lost his cool and used an inappropriate word.
"It was just a word that I used that I probably should not have used, but when you lose it sometimes words come out of your mouth that aren't appropriate," said Wille.
Wille wouldn't say what he said on the record, nor what the students were doing to be disciplined. He did say that shortly after the girls got off the bus, he noticed a car had been following him for several blocks.
He then made a stop on Halstead Street and that's when a man got on the bus and started to assault him. Wille says he believes the man was the brother of one of the girls reprimanded earlier that day.
"He wanted to know if I wanted it inside the bus or if I wanted to step outside the bus. And he just kept poking me in the forehead with his finger and then when I did not retaliate or didn't raise a hand, I got hit here and here on the jaw," said Wille, pointing out places where he said he was hit.
Wille says he then blacked out. He says the bus monitor called 911 and police showed up.
Wille decided to press charges the day after the incident happened. Capt. Tim Pillack with the Waterloo Police Department said they have not been able to locate the man who hit Wille.
KWWL contacted Durham School Services about the situation. This was their statement:
Transporting students safely to and from school is a top priority for Durham School Services. Our bus drivers go through extensive training that includes Student Management Training. Topics covered include building student and driver rapport, establishing the school bus rules, guidelines for student discipline and managing a crisis situation. Another training module, Preparing the Students to Learn, focuses on changing attitudes and controlling chaos. These modules work hand-in-hand to help drivers understand their role in maintaining order on the bus.
Even before the incident happened, Wille said his job was a little scary.
"You never know when a bullet is going to come your way," he said. "You never know. You have no idea where a knife may come from. You're confined in that seat and it could happen. I don't have metal detectors to detect that stuff in book bags as kids get on."
Nonetheless, he said he loves his job, even after he was moved to a different route.
""It's a lot of fun and I enjoy them and I miss them," said Wille.
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