Bus company mum on 'frigid' firing of compassionate driver

Calgary bus driver Kendra Lindon was fired for driving kids to school in her own vehicle after her...

Calgary bus driver Kendra Lindon was fired for driving kids to school in her own vehicle after her bus broke down in frigid temperatures in Calgary on March 3, 2014. (Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency)

Michael Platt, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:56 AM ET

CALGARY — A school bus company is refusing to comment after firing a veteran Calgary driver, who put the safety of shivering children above a rule banning students from private vehicles.

"In accordance with employee privacy laws and corporate policy, I am not at liberty to discuss this personnel issue, or any other, with the media or the general public," First Student spokeswoman Jen Biddinger said.

Official silence is the policy, despite pointed questions from Calgary parents who pay $295 a year for their children to take First Student buses.

They're customers who want Kendra Lindon to get her job back.

Lindon, a 10-year veteran on the same route, decided to break the rules after her bus wouldn't start in a -37 C windchill.

Aware help from dispatch could be 20 minutes or more away, she used to her own SUV to keep the junior high students warm.

It meant driving a couple blocks on quiet roads to fetch kids she'd known for years, before waiting for help to arrive.

But a parent spotted what Lindon did, and reported her for using a personal vehicle to ferry kids in the frozen weather. That afternoon, the beloved bus driver was fired.

"Can't believe you fired that poor lady. Shame on you First Student. You have zero compassion," reads one of many angry messages left on the First Student Facebook site on Tuesday.

It isn't the first time the Cincinnati-based bus company has felt public wrath over perceived employee injustice, while refusing to explain.

In January, a 20-year veteran driver in southeast Saskatchewan was fired after she spoke up about the lack of snow tires and condition of brakes on her bus.

First Student issued a statement saying it would not discuss personnel issues, but buses do undergo stringent safety checks.


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