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Published: Saturday, 2/19/2005

Students refuse to turn in vandals, abandon bus

Glue smeared on several seats was the reason a Washington Local schools bus driver halted her run at Jefferson Junior High School Thursday afternoon, and most of the 40 or so students on board decided to walk home rather than turn in the vandals, Superintendent Michael Carmean said yesterday.

The driver, whom the superintendent did not identify, summoned school security officers when the situation arose and told her passengers that the bus would not leave until the guilty were identified, Mr. Carmean said. About 20 of the students left immediately, and others trickled away thereafter, he said.

School officials continue to examine whether the students who stayed on campus were treated properly, the superintendent said. Several parents who called The Blade complained that their children were not allowed back into the school for access to phones or to stay warm while waiting for rides.

"If we take kids off the bus, they're still under our care and control," Mr. Carmean said, "and we need to find someplace for them to go."

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