In a shocking incident that has left parents and the community outraged, a school bus driver in Brisbane, Australia, ordered a busload of children off the bus, leaving them stranded miles away from their homes. The driver’s actions have led to his dismissal, but the trauma inflicted on the children and their parents remains.

Gemma Pfingst, a mother of two of the children on the bus, received a distressing call from her daughter Emily on July 14. Emily informed her that she and her sister, along with about 16 other students from Brisbane-based state schools, including Woodhill State School, had been ordered off the bus mid-route. The children, some as young as five, were left stranded approximately 10km from their final stop.

Upon reaching her daughters, Pfingst found other children wandering the streets, one of whom was just five years old. “They nearly got hit by a car, it was pretty scary,” she told Today on Friday.

The driver’s actions were reportedly in response to children allegedly misbehaving during the route. However, this drastic response has left the children traumatized and parents furious. Pfingst’s daughters are now too scared to catch their school bus, causing significant disruption to the family’s routine as they all work rurally.

Translink, the authority responsible for the bus service, has apologized for the distress caused by the incident, stating that it does not meet their expectations of delivery partners. A spokeswoman said, “Bus Queensland has taken immediate disciplinary action against the driver, while the incident and the events leading up to it are being reviewed. The driver is no longer employed with Bus Queensland.”

However, for Pfingst and other parents, this response is not enough. “That’s not going to keep our children safe on the roads,” she said. “We put our faith in these bus drivers to get our children to and from school safely. They’ve shattered that. I can’t trust my children will be picked up from school and dropped off safely at home anymore.”

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of stringent safety measures and responsible behavior from those entrusted with the care of our children. It underscores the need for constant vigilance and regular checks to ensure that such an incident does not repeat in the future. The trauma inflicted on these children and their parents is a wake-up call for all involved in the transportation of children to and from school. It is a call to action to ensure that safety and trust are never compromised again.