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The Bus Driver's Tapes: An Open-and-Shut Case

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The potentially sticky situation seems to have been patched up: The Armstrong County (Pa.) School District has decided not to recommend the firing of a school-bus driver who gave misbehaving students the option of being sent to the principal or having their mouths taped shut.

A group of parents had asked for the transfer or dismissal of Shirley Stubrick, a 25-year-old bus driver who transports students in from the outlying regions surrounding the town of Elderton.

Ms. Stubrick admitted before the board that taping had occurred, but said she never taped children herself.

Children who chose tape over a visit to the principal taped themselves, she said.

The board ordered that the taping cease, according to E. Samuel Hatfield, president of the school board.

The southwest Pennsylvania dis3trict is spread over a large geograph-ic area; about 90 percent of its students are bused. The district hires private bus companies that have the power to hire, fire, and discipline their own drivers.

Any taping incidents occurred two years ago, and the recent complaint against Ms. Stubrick was "the culmination of many charges and complaints against her," Mr. Hatfield said.

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