Support grows online for fired school-bus driver
Published Friday, November 23, 2012 7:30PM AST
Support is growing for a Halifax-area bus driver who was fired for using inappropriate language while breaking up a fight on her bus.
A page in support of Heather Vidito first popped up on Facebook, and now thousands of people are logging onto Twitter in the fight to get her job back.
“She should get her job back,” says high school student Ryan MacGregor. “It was her son, and she was just defending him.”
Vidito’s troubles began after a video was posted to YouTube Tuesday showing her breaking up a fight between two students, exchanging swear words with one of them in the process. The video has since been removed.
The two boys were in the back seat on the way home from Gaetz Brook Junior High School and Eastern Shore District High School. The driver is seen swearing and yelling at them to stop fighting, before pulling them apart, prompting the heated exchange.
After learning of the incident, her employer, Stock Transporation, fired Vidito.
“I think it is terrible that she lost her job,” says area resident Judy Bonang. “She could have saved someone’s life, who knows. The way kids fight today, it can get very dangerous.”
More than 2,000 people from across the country have joined a Facebook page in support of Vidito in less than two days. On Twitter, her supporters are hoping #bringheatherback takes off.
“I think it is great she is getting support,” says area resident Lillian Godding. “She certainly does deserve it.”
Stock Transportation wouldn’t say whether it was aware of the online group, but released a written statement:
“The investigation demonstrated that there was a clear breach of Stock Transportation’s policies regarding student management. In this case, the driver’s actions were inappropriate and inconsistent with company policy and training.”
CTV News tried to reach Vidito by phone and at her home Friday, but was told she does not wish to comment.
The Halifax Regional School Board also doesn’t want to comment on the situation, saying it’s in the hands of Stock Transportation.
“She took a chance herself to break up the fight, and for her to lose her job, it is absolutely beyond me,” says Godding. “It is terrible.”
Vidito’s union is fighting for her to get job back. Meetings are planned with both Vidito and Stock Transportation next week.
Meanwhile, her supporters on Facebook and Twitter say they’re not giving up.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Felicia Yap