Girl, 12, 'held hostage' for hour on school bus as punishment by driver

A 12-year-old student said she was "held hostage" for an hour on a school bus Tuesday by the driver as punishment.

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A bus driver held out his arm, stopping Alivia Hill and two other students from getting off at their stop, and were told to sit down, WISH reported.

"I usually meet her at the bus stop at 3:45," Alivia's mother, Betsy Hill, told WISH. "Two other kids got off (on Tuesday afternoon). I start wondering, 'Did I tell her she could stay after school? Did I miss something here?'"

She called the school, but no one answered. Hill spent about 30 minutes calling and texting her daughter's friends before deciding to try and go out and look for her. She went outside, and the bus pulled up.

"Alivia gets off, and she's crying," Hill told WISH. "After she told me what happened, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I was so mad."

Hill tracked down and confronted the bus driver Tuesday night.

"I asked him what the problem was," Hill told WISH. "And he said: 'The kids on the bus are mean to me. Alivia wouldn't help me. And when she wouldn't help me, she yelled at me.' He said, 'So I wouldn't let her off the bus.'"

Alivia said she did not yell at the driver and that she is not a designated helper or bus monitor.

School officials said actions were taken against the driver but did not elaborate. He was still driving the same route Thursday, WISH reported.

"South Putnam has investigated a situation involving a student riding a school bus, but due to privacy laws protecting all students, we are not permitted to discuss this matter," Bruce Bernhardt, the South Putnam Community School superintendent, told WISH in a statement. "The driver in this situation has met with transportation officials and appropriate actions have been taken."

The driver and his supervisors did not comment to WISH.

"I want the school (district officials) to take this seriously," Hill told WISH. "What if that was your child who was confined to a bus? They can't tell me they wouldn't be upset."

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