State Education Dept. investigating alleged abuse on Buffalo school buses

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A spokeswoman for Sen. Tim Kennedy says the State Education Department is investigating two alleged cases of abuse on Buffalo school buses.

In a letter to State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, Kennedy says a 6-year-old boy was allegedly abused by a 12-year-old on the bus in December.

School officials with the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo are also investigating that incident.

The letter also mentioned a situation where a mother said her 9-year-old South Buffalo son was physically and sexually abused on a school bus.

Kennedy says he wants to see if bus aides are needed to prevent issues of abuse.

“Our children deserve to be protected without question, both in and outside the classroom. While these allegations of abuse continue to be investigated by authorities, I’m grateful that Commissioner Elia has heard our call and ordered an additional state investigation,” said Kennedy. “We cannot allow our children’s right to an education to become jeopardized. We have a responsibility to ensure that our students’ safety is a top priority, and if the safety standards of our school buses are found to have been inadequate in this circumstance, I trust that the Commissioner will expand her investigation to look at the greater gaps and the need statewide.”

Elia has directed the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute to investigate the abuse allegations.

She says the New York State Education Department has created a new position — Director of Pupil Transportation. The person in this position will improve training for bus drivers and help ensure safety and efficiency, according to Elia.

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