Teen boys banned from buses for life

By Jonathan Dine -
24 comments
Nimon buses general manager Pete Patterson checks the broken windows of the vandalised bus. Photo / Warren Buckland
Nimon buses general manager Pete Patterson checks the broken windows of the vandalised bus. Photo / Warren Buckland

Two teenage boys accused of inciting a violent scene in Havelock North with a text last week have been banned from ever boarding another Nimon Bus.

That includes any field trips the Year 9 students want to go on, Nimon and Son's general manager Pete Patterson said.

One of the banned boys, from the Akina Activity Centre in Hastings, is believed to have texted family to meet him on Te Aute Rd after an argument with another student on the bus last week. Two females and three males allegedly tried to storm the bus with weapons but were stopped by the driver using himself as a human shield. The teens are also accused of smashing the bus windows with rocks.

They have been charged with inciting violence, assault, and possession of offensive weapons and are due to appear in the Hastings Youth Court this week.

Mr Patterson said the decision has been made to give the boys a life ban from the bus company.

The company was generally happy as long as students did not cause damage to themselves, others or the bus, and did not distract the driver.

"We don't expect them to sit silently with their arms at their sides, feet on the ground and staring straight ahead."

The bus was back on the road after $1000 of repairs, the driver had come through unscathed, and his sense of humour had since returned, Mr Patterson said.

Hastings Boys' High School principal Rob Sturch said banning the students was the bus company's right - "If they think that is the appropriate response, then that is the appropriate response."

He said buses were crucial because they gave students the choice of where to attend school.

Ministry of Education spokesman Jerome Sheppard said the ministry had offered support and expressed appreciation of the driver's actions.

"It's really important to us that students can travel safely between school and home, and it's thanks to the courage of the driver that none of his young passengers were hurt. We do appreciate the way the driver acted to protect the students on the bus."

Tukituki MP Craig Foss was shocked at the incident and agreed the driver went above and beyond the call of duty to protect the children.

Mr Foss said this incident may be a wake-up call for schools as it could have ended much worse.

An Akina Activity Centre teacher said a decision on the students' future at the school was yet to be made.

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