Video of Confrontation Between Bus Driver and Mother Leads to Criminal Charges

A mother from Lovell, Maine said she was asking the driver about any problems on the bus on Tuesday afternoon after her daughter texted her saying the driver had become contentious toward students

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A Maine school bus driver is now charged with assault and driving to endanger after a parent recorded video that appears to show a bus pulling away with the mother of an eighth-grader still in its open doors.

According to the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, 74-year-old, Shirley Danforth of Lovell, Maine was allegedly behind the wheel of that bus during the incident Wednesday afternoon, over the course of which it says the parent was struck.

Emily Poitras of Lovell, Maine says she is the parent whom this happened to as her daughter exited the bus.

During a Thursday interview with NECN/NBC 10 Boston, Poitras explained that she decided to meet her daughter as the bus stopped because she had received a text from her daughter saying her bus driver had become contentious towards students.

Poitras wanted to find out what happened and chose to film the incident on her cell phone for her safety.

A home security video Poitras appears to have simultaneously captured what happened from the exterior of the bus and she provided both videos to NECN/NBC 10 Boston.

The two clips appear to show the driver beginning to move the bus away from where it had stopped with Poitras between the doors.

“I actually had to run a couple steps with the bus so I wouldn’t fall,” she said.

According to Jay Robinson, the superintendent for Maine School Administrative District 72 (MSAD 72), where Poitras’ daughter attends school, the school system is also conducting an investigation into the the incident.

It is also reviewing Poitras’ video and plans to interview the driver and other students on the bus at the time.

"The safety of everyone involved is always our top priority," said Robinson in a Thursday afternoon e-mail to NECN/NBC 10 Boston.

The Oxford County Sheriff’s Office says Danforth is expected to appear in court on December 13.

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