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Bus driver claims she was forced to resign a few years before retirement

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A 72-year-old bus driver is outraged after being forced to resign a few years before retirement.

Rennie Haeseley has driven a bus for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation for almost 17 years. She claims she was forced to resign for reasons she doesn’t believe are justified.

Last Thursday, she had a meeting with a school official and two members of the school bus association. She received a letter titled disciplinary action and stated: “Insubordination: Disobeying or refusing an action of authority”.

Haeseley was given three reasons for the disciplinary action. The letter stated:

“You have violated this on 1/21/13 when you were told there was a 2-hr delay the following morning. You were asked at that time to start your bus (#248) and let it run to insure it would start due to the cold temperatures. You were also instructed to start your bus in plenty of time the morning of 1/22/13. At 5:15 a.m. 1/22/13 you phoned the T&M building and spoke with an employee saying you could not get your bus started, stating ‘the bus started yesterday, but would not start this morning’. GPS found this information false. In fact you neglected to start your bus at all on 1/21/13.”

Haeseley said she was not home when she was called on Jan. 21. She said her husband was home. He took the call. She thought he said he started the bus, when in fact, he said the bus did not start. She returned home at 11:30 p.m.

She said no one from the school system tried to call her cell phone. She tried to start the bus, but it did not. Haeseley did not want to call someone that late. She tried the next morning and it didn’t started. She called the department for help. After that, Haeseley said she was able to pick up her students and took them to school on time.

The letter continued to say, “GPS proves you have disregarded following BCSC Transportation guidelines (page #9) ‘Every driver is to do a pre-trip inspection before every trip.’ This occurs on several occasions.”

Haeseley said she does pre-trip inspections like checking the brakes, signals and doors. She said she conducts thorough inspections twice a week. Haeseley said she does not believe people conduct thorough inspections on everything, every day.

Lastly the letter said, “Your continued inability to maintain your bus without assistance from mechanics or fellow colleagues (is) unacceptable. We are concerned about your physical ability to maintain your bus.”

Haeseley said she could not lift the grill in order to put anti-freeze. She said it wasn’t heavy, but awkward. She said she would get help from her co-workers and she argued it got done.

Haeseley said she was forced to resign, just five years from retirement. She said she did not receive any warnings.

“These (reasons) are not warranted for firing somebody,” Haeseley said.

She did not want to quit. She wants an apology.

“I need an apology. I think that’s (the) first thing I need is an apology because it’s so humiliating,” Haeseley said.

She does not want it to happen to someone else. She believes she is a good bus driver and a capable bus driver.

“If this is because of a personality conflict, which I’ve never had anything on on with them at all. So, I don’t know, but if that’s what it it, it’s wrong number one.

“It’s totally wrong and she should have called me in and talked to me about it and told me that, if I didn’t start doing this, this is what was going to happen,” Haeseley said.

Fox59 tried to speak with school officials to ask them about this incident. The superintendent’s administrative assistant told us in person: “no comment.”

39 comments

  • matthew

    My lord she needs to proof read her stories. Its like I’m reading something with a major stuttering issue. It it its I am thinking how in the world did she get a Job.

    • Friend

      I seriously doubt she said "it it is". That was the journalist writing the story. Also, the spelling of brakes. It looks like they spelled it right to me. As far as getting her job, I'm sure you're top dog at yours. Yeah right!

      • Friend

        Just watched video again. She did not stutter, as you mentioned. Even if she did, what would that have to do with her job?

      • anonymous

        Nope I’m not top dog however she spelled it breaks not the proper way brakes. Read it she typed was ( but if that’s what it it its wrong number one ). So maybe you need to learn to read. I may not be the smartest however the money she makes to write an article it wouldn’t hurt for a spell check so nobody gets confused.

  • julia

    omg who gives a crap how she spells dang she has been with the bcsc for 17 years…she is heart broken whe she lost her job…i mean i could understand them wantn to let her go if she couldnt any longer keep a steady wheel..but she lost it for stupid reasons..n have been faithful for many years!!! This lady deserves an apology and a break from all u idiots who wanna make her life humiliating and harder!!!

    • Dan

      You seem to have missed the point…the lady the story is about didn't misspell it….they were talking about the supposed "professional" journalist

    • concerned

      Just saying…but I think they were referring to the person who wrote the article, not the bus driver. She didn't write this, she was interviewed for it.

    • anonymous

      I was referring to the professional who wrote the story not the bus driver. It is a shame they stole her job but the school will not apologize or give her the job back because that would make them admit they where wrong.

  • nacyia messina

    she is /was a great person & bus driver! she cared about the kids so much & this i is a ridiculous mess. I think she should at least get her pay & retirement , if not her job back! My children loved her! That should matter! I also think its unreasonable to not let us parents know who is driving our children with all that’s going on in the world you never know! Be fair BCSC & do what is right for the kids!!

  • Lynette

    This is so wrong..I guess she was being paid to much and they can hire someone younger and pay less..Why does this town put the elderly out to pasture when they can still do their jobs and are damn good at it?? If it was a man not being able to lift grill they would lift it for him and joke about it

    • anonymous

      That’s untrue and sexist. Many people men and women are forced into retirement due to age. My grandfather was a bus driver and was forced to retire because his diabetes got worse. They where concerned about his health and the safety of the children. I don’t agree that she should have been done like that but the school corporation will never change their mind.

  • unknown

    Thats pretty much how state employees get treated they are always looking for younger cheaper help. They can fire you just because they don't like you which sucks. And when your not in the click with everyother they will find some way to fire you no matter how well you do your job. If your not in there click
    bye bye to you. When your supervisers are in there 20's why would they want old people they think because there younger they can do the job better but I would rather have an older more experienced person covering my back in an emergency . But that is so so wrong to mess with peoples lives close to retirement and there age pretty much hurts them in getting a decent job. BCSC should give her her job back and stop this crap. If not what goes around comes around and one day this will prob happen to them when they are up in age there selfs

  • Concerned

    Well maybe Columbus should think about voting in a whole new school board when the time comes.
    Not sure if it will help maybe a petition might help or get your Mayor involved. This women did not deserve this.

  • TheRealDL

    I had this lady as a bus driver. I can honestly say THIS probably wasn't the only thing that her fired. She was rude, disrespectful, and didn't listen to any warnings or parent complaints. But none of these were ever checked in this story. I don't see where anything was taken to BSCS to see if there were any other reasons. I know it's been awhile since I was riding the school bus, but I honestly think she should've been fired over ten years ago. Yeah, slightly personal because she got on me once for nothing and I was always the good kid, but I'm not talking about me, about ways she treated other kids or various ages. So don't defend this old lady unless you know what she was like. She should've been canned years ago, so THIS can't be the only thing that got her fired. And those that said she was the best bus driver and how nice she was etc etc, if she changed, that's one thing… But I know what I experienced with her, what I saw, and I say it was a long time coming.

    • Concerned

      Seems like it is just personal for you. But so far there have been alot of supporters for this woman than non. And it was wrong to do this to a woman so close to retirement. Let's just hope this doesnt happen to you when you get that age.

      • TheRealDL

        Yeah, I know. Hilarious!!! But maybe it's because I'm the only to step up a speak the truth. It's sad that she got forced to resign before her retirement, but I remember exactly what she was like. There was only one other bus driver that I ever had that nobody liked. The personal part never weighs in my opinions, I remember her clearly. She played favoritism over tact. No, she wasn't vulgar, but there are other ways to be rude.

    • Heather

      I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe anything you have just said about this women. I rode her bus for 5 years and never once was she anything like what you've said. She was the most caring and respectful person I have ever met. She loved her job along with all the kids that rode her bus. She always took the time to learn every childs name she knew them like they were her own. She always took ever precaution she felt necessary to keep her kids safe. What BCSC did to her was completely uncalled for and wrong. I for one hope and pray that she gets her job back along with an apology.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        TheRealDL sounds like a little punk azz that got put in his place by grammy.

        He says he was a "good kid" but the problem with that is people who are truly good don't need to say that.

      • Anonymous

        Vulgar? Of course not. Rude? Doubt it! She would give her last dime to anyone in need. She would never choose 1 person, let alone a child over another. She treats every child from every background as 1 of her own. She has let many stay at her house if parents needed the help. She’s still in contact with many. If I see her at the store, someone’s always running up to her and hugging her.

  • Concerned Parent

    How many of you have children? How many of you would go nuts if there was an accident or something happened to your child because the necessary precautions were not taken because the individual was not able to perform them. In this day and age I would guess probably 80% would go after the school corporation for this but when someone is released for no longer being able to perform the necessary tasks to keep your children safe you go up in arms. If I recall my child's driver is much older than this lady so I believe every one that is blaming the resignation on her age is very mistaken. I would also guess that if this was a 35 year old individual getting let go for the exact reason no one take a second look at the story. I will sleep better tonight knowing that my child is being well looked after while on BCSC buses.

    • Anonymous

      Properly checking safety issues is one thing. Having her climb in the hood to check and fill fluids is another, which she said she did 2x a week. Do you look under your hood and inspect all wires, hoses, fuel lines and fluids? What about your tire pressure, first aid kit, windshield wipers, lights, and fans? If you do all that and 30 more that need checked before you drive anywhere with your kids, you are the worlds best and safest mother ever. Praise be to you because most only check the obvious and necessary. Then other things less often. Don’t forget to check under your vehicle for leaks as well.

      • Concerned Parent

        No I can't say that I do it every week more like once a month. But what everyone I guess is missing is this is something she signed a contract /took a job to do. And that she should be able perform all things neccessary for the job and what im guessing is the last 17 years she hasn't had a problem doing this but probably due to her becoming older like everyone things get harder. This is just like any other job when you can't do what your asked you get released from that position. Like I said in my 1st statement if this was lets say a 35 year old mother of 2 that got released because she was unable to perform her full duties no one would be saying anything they would probably applaud BCSC for there choices. I believe everyone is losing site of the big picture, the children's safety. I understand she may have loved those children like her own and helped them as much as she could, that is fantastic & the kids will always have those memories of her but when you can't perform specific tasks to keep children safe then I am sorry you should be relieved from that duty.

  • "Thor"

    The public schools have this demi-god complex today. I 'm a grandfather so my involvement is not as high as a parent, but IMO they are borderline Nazi in how others are treated.

    • Anonymous

      You may need to go meet her. She push mows her yard ( a big one, lives in country), works 2 jobs, carries in firewood, shovels snow, rides horses, rides on the back of 4 wheelers with teens driving her, jumps off the high dive at Seymour pool, swims in her pond and pool with kids, raises her own chickens, turkeys and hens, hauls her trash off to dump, recyclables to center, maintains all on her own vehicles. The fact is that she could do this on her old bus, but the new bus( as with almost anything new) is that the grill wouldn’t open and a fellow bus driver at the school came to her bus and opened it for her. The maintence has to be done before every trip, every day. You said once a month. Big difference. Have you ever needed to have someone stronger than you tighten a lug nut, open the hood of a car? Even opening a jar of pickles is sometimes difficult and I’m 28!

  • TheRealDL

    So I can't post a true negative opinion? No vulgarity, no hate speech, no offensive anything, and two post of mine were deleted? Why? They are honest opinions

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      The admins on this site are ITT graduates and have the vulgarity filter set to the extreme. If you type any word with a.s.s. in it, the post will be deleted automatically.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    If they were looking for a reason to fire grammy, she handed it to them! There's nothing she can do about it.

    However…she may want to contact an attorney over this sentence: "Your continued inability to maintain your bus without azzistance from mechanics or fellow colleagues (is) unacceptable."

    Can we say Age/Physical ability discrimination?

  • Anonymous

    Going off of the reasons mentioned in the article for being fired, I find it absurd! And for all of you commenting without personally experiencing her as a bus driver should find better things to do.
    My children road her bus for years and my entire family found her to be nothing but safety conscience, kind, giving, and caring.
    Not only did we have several safety issues with other bus drivers, but also the children weren’t being treated well. After complaints from several parents, nothing was changed.
    Renie was fired on a technicality the BCSC jumped on. It is ashame she is being treated this way by BCSC after 17 years if service. They should focus in the employees who do not have the best interest of the children in mind….there are plenty if them in our school system!!
    Give her back her job!!

  • wouldntulike2know

    This is coming from another school bus driver at BCSC!!! I think she was undually let go, she should have been given a warning! There have been too many drivers at bcsc fired without warning and I think it is so wrong. And for all of you that have negative comments, you should really try talking with or work with us to know what is really going on with the school transportaion.

    • TheRealDL

      I never said that there wasn't an issue with the school transportation itself. That is definitely a problem. But yeah, there had to be more, I'm sure of it. And how do you you she never got a warning? All the info that was given out was this incident, but who's to say there wasn't any others that she didn't reveal? Sympathy for it? I have some because of her age, but not enough to erase what has been done.

  • Woohoo

    I too am a bus driver for BCSC. I fully respect my supervisors decision concerning this situation, as I'm sure all the details have not been made public. There's much more to this situation! This isn't the FIRST time there has been problems! I would like to end on this note….. Most drivers do the pre-trip inspection EVERY day, as we're suppose to do so! Twice a week is totally unacceptable!!

    • Anonymous

      I am also a bus driver and have been for many years. None of us do the entire pre trip inspection. Yes, most do the basic to make sure the bus and kids are safe. Wait until we all get a new bus with the monitoring system, then we will see there will be parents having to take their kids to school because there won’t be any of us left. I certainly will not spend an extra 1.5 hours in the morning ( and considering a lot of us have our buses at our house, how do you see everything at 4:30am since its still dark?) then another 1.5 hours for after school route. 3 extra hours for things a mechanic should do!

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