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Bus driver fired after choking allegation

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Updated: 2/03 11:39 pm
ORANGE PARK, Fla.-- A local school bus driver is telling her side of the story after reports she choked a student on a school bus.

The bus ride home from Montclair Elementary School in Clay County last week was anything but fun for one 10-year-old.

"It was scary because I thought I might get hit," said Jaedyn Winter.

Jaedyn said his bus driver got upset and told students to put their cellphones away. Not everyone wanted to.

"The student refused to give it to her so the driver put her hand on his throat," said Jaedyn. "I could hear him gasping."

Jaedyn described it as choking.

When we couldn't get answers from the superintendent's office about the incident, we went straight to the bus driver's home to ask her about the allegations in the police report. She told Action News there was no choking and that she is no longer driving.

Donna Turner said she was fired Friday. "My story is that I took the cellphone out of his hand, and followed protocol. I did what I was trained to do and I was punished," said Turner.

Police only have witness statements to go by. There was no security camera on the bus. We found out only 12 buses in the district have cameras. Jaedyn's father says that could have made a big difference here.

"This situation is the perfect example. We would've been able to get to the bottom of this much quicker had we had video footage," said Jaedyn's father, Jeffrey Winter.

Clay County school board chairwoman Carol Studdard tells Action News the budget is just too tight right now. There are no plans to add more cameras. We're also waiting to hear whether any criminal charges were filed against the bus driver.
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