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Fired Bus Driver Speaks Out

Dauphin County bus driver speaks out after being fired.

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Local News
12/13/12

Fired Bus Driver Speaks Out

A Dauphin County man is speaking out after being fired as a bus driver for bringing a toy gun onto the bus he was driving. He was a bus driver for Dauphin County Technical school and was fired from Rohrer bus company. He was also charged with disorderly conduct.

“ I did the wrong thing, and made a wrong move, at the right time for the students, and they decided to take advantage because when you drive a bus. It`s the bus driver against the students,” says Ronald Jones, of Susquehanna Township

He says he watches some of the other bus drivers’ young children while they run their routes , and brought they toy gun for them. He then took the toy and brought it on his bus. That’s when he said he did something that looking back he regrets.  He told the students the toy gun , ” was for the bad kids”.

The 73-year- old says he wants people to know he’s not a criminal,  just a man who made a mistake.  Jones, an army veteran, plans on looking for another job.

A peaceful ending to a scary ordeal for a group of Dauphin County Vocational Technical students headed home to Susquehanna Township Monday afternoon.

Their bus driver Ronald Jones, 73, of Susquehanna Township, has been cited for disorderly conduct and fired from his job after witnesses said he got into an argument with a student on the bus and pulled out what looked like a gun.

“He said he was going to ‘shoot all of the bad kids, starting with you and you’ and pointed at the student he was arguing with and his friend,” said one student who was on the bus and did not want her name used.

After the argument, Jones continued his bus route. But students on the bus immediately got on their cell phones and contacted their parents and the school, unsure if the gun was real or fake.

“I believe the problems that arose were as the incident was transferred from one person to another,” said Lt. Gary Seefeldt of Lower Paxton Township police. “It became a real gun in the conversations.”

The gun turned out to be a fake miniature “Tommy” gun, but school leaders and police praised the students’ quick action.

“You can’t just assume that nothing is ever going to happen to you because things are just getting worse and worse and you just have to be ready for it,” added the student who took cell phone video of a police officer questioning Jones.

73-year-old Ronald W. Jones of Susquehanna Township has been charged with disorderly conduct and fired from the Rhorer Bus Company after Dauphin County Technical School students called authorities when they say Jones displayed a gun and said it was for “bad kids.”  The incident happened Monday afternoon as students were being transported from school.  Susquehanna Township Police were notified and subsequently stopped the bus driver in a lot on Progress Avenue.  They recovered the weapon and learned it was a toy Tommy gun.  Jones was removed from the bus and a substitute driver took the students to their bus stops.

“All the times we’ve talked to adults we’ve also talked to children from the time they’re small when they’re in kindergarten talking to them about what do you do and what’s the appropriate reaction for certain things and they absolutely, they were calm, they did the right thing, they used their phones, they absolutely alerted authorities right away,” said Susan Kegerise, Superintendent, Susquehanna Township School District.

If the gun was real Jones would have faced a number of charges including having a weapon on school property.  The Director of Public Safety with Lower Paxton Township told FOX43 he has never been told that the toy gun was shown to the “bad kids” in the past.

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