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LI students taken off charter bus after concerns about driver

Seniors from Sachem North High School who were on their way home from a class trip were transferred from one charter bus to another after their chaperones had concerns about the driver, a district official said Monday.

The roughly 50 students were among 800 seniors from Sachem North and Sachem East high schools who had left Friday for Washington D.C., according to Deirdre Gilligan, a district spokeswoman.

“The adults on the bus felt the driver was driving erratic and didn’t feel comfortable keeping kids on the bus,” she said.

School officials did not call law enforcement, Gilligan said.

The driver works for Hampton Jitney and his status is unchanged, said the company’s CEO Geoffrey Lynch.

The group had visited Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, before starting home Sunday, Gilligan said. Everyone arrived back on Long Island safely later in the day, she said.

The transfer, Gilligan said, took place at a scheduled stop in Washington on their way home from the amusement park; the students and their chaperones returned on 14 other buses chartered for the trip, she said.

In an electronic message to parents on Sunday, Sachem School District Superintendent Kenneth Graham said there was an “issue with how the driver was driving. Out of an abundance of caution students were removed from the bus and placed in a seat on an alternate bus. It is important to note that at no time were the students on the bus in any danger.”

CORRECTION: The name of one of the Sachem schools was incorrect in a previous version of this story.

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