Vice President Kamala Harris may love yellow school buses, but one Ohio school bus driver has had her fill of them and the teenage bullies who ride them.
Amherst school bus driver Jackie Miller has terrible asthma — a condition the teenagers who ride her bus are well aware of.
But a group of bullies on her route have, she says, for the past two years, done all they could to get the best of her. When one of them allegedly sprayed a burst of perfume in the air just a month after she’d suffered a horrible asthma attack from that very thing, they finally succeeded.
“She sprayed perfume on the bus and I had a horrible asthma attack,” Miller told WKYC of the first incident. “I had to stop the bus, grab my inhaler and try to get my lungs to open up again. I had all the kids open up all the windows. They know this.”
In a now-viral video of the spray that broke the driver’s back, Miller can be seen officially losing it, yelling at the students in a profanity-laced rant that promised, “My foot’s gonna be so far up your a** it’s gonna dangle out your f*****g nose.”
“How much do you expect me to f**king take?” she asked.
The incident caused Miller to resign from her job, but, rather than being ostracized for her outburst, the longtime driver was seen as something of a hero online, likely thanks to a recent stream of national headlines featuring children being beaten senseless by bullies on buses.
Mom of 9-yr-old girl beaten on Florida school bus shares video of son in same scenario one week earlier https://t.co/nLtEDs2Dlr pic.twitter.com/l4d65LHzxQ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 10, 2023
“That particular day was challenging to say the very least because it started the minute this core group of students got on the bus,” Miller said of the viral video.
According to Miller, she’s sorry, not sorry.
“I’m sorry for the way this went down, I truly am,” she said. “I do apologize for my actions, but I won’t take it back.”
It’s because of students like the ones who tormented her that the nation is experiencing a shortage of bus drivers, Miller believes.
“This is a plight of all bus drivers, we are treated in the worst possible sense of the word,” she said. “We are treated with such lack of respect.”
The incident is now being investigated by the district.
In a letter provided to WKYC by Amherst Superintendent Mike Molnar, the district told parents:
Dear Amherst Parents,
This evening, I received a video circulating on social media of a bus driver using inappropriate and offensive language towards students. The behavior exhibited by the bus driver is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. I have accepted the bus driver’s resignation effective immediately and the incident will be fully investigated. The actions of the bus driver do not represent the values and standards we uphold as a district and do not reflect our commitment to providing a safe, caring, and compassionate educational environment.
Moving forward, our Transportation Department will review its procedures to make sure we are handling situations appropriately for the safety of our students. The district will also continue to support our bus drivers with proper training and professional development.
As Superintendent, I will continue to focus my energy and efforts on creating a positive and safe environment for all students and staff. I believe that open communication and constructive feedback from our community help us create a stronger and more supportive environment.
Molnar told WKYC that several students have since been disciplined, but declined to say how many students were involved, what specifically they were being disciplined for, or what kind of punishment they are facing.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Miller, who is now out of a job. As of this writing, it has raised $58,461.
And to help raise money, an apparel company has printed up t-shirts featuring one of Miller’s more colorful quotes and is donating $5 from every shirt sold to the former driver.
“We all kind of just felt for her in that moment,” said Jacqui Adkins, Mistakes on the Lakes & Main Street Threads owner. “We’ve all had bad days, we’ve all gone through hardships and our hearts just went out for her.”
The support she has received has provided a much-needed boost to Miller’s morale.
“There’s just no words to say how grateful that I am for the people who have supported me,” she told WKYC. “It restores your faith in humanity. It makes you think that not all people are bad, that there’s really good people in the world.”
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