first_imgWoodland School District bus driver Jolleen Washburn. A dispute over the safety of a school bus stop in Woodland has led to the firing of an eight-year bus-driving veteran.The Woodland School Board fired the driver, Jolleen Washburn, Monday after a weeklong dispute between the school district and Washburn over the safety of a stop on rural Lewis River Road. Washburn had refused to stop at the district’s chosen location — near a private driveway, but also close to the intersection of Lewis River Road and Old Lewis River Road — because she thought the area was unsafe. Instead, she regularly stopped 30 to 60 feet away from the intersection to pick up a 6-year-old kindergartner. In a letter Monday, district Superintendent Michael Green laid out how Washburn’s actions were part of a pattern of insubordination. She had received a verbal reprimand Oct. 4, a written reprimand Oct. 11 and was later suspended on Oct. 16. She continued to stop away from the school district’s preferred loading area after returning to work on Oct. 19. After meeting with Washburn on Monday, Green forwarded a recommendation to the school board to fire her.Washburn doesn’t dispute that she failed to follow the school district’s orders. She said the school district’s stop was unsafe because it was too close to the intersection.“I admit, absolutely, I was insubordinate,” Washburn said. “But the directive I received directly contradicted (the law) and the district’s policies.”The school district’s policy requires drivers to stop one to two bus lengths from an intersection.Following the district’s orders would be the same as if her superiors asked her to “drive recklessly, or hit a child,” she added.last_img

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