VIDEO: Grand Forks mom wants solutions for stressed bus drivers after man caught pulling hair of students

The mother of one of the students who had his hair pulled said this is not the time to point fingers, but to instead come up with solutions to better student behavior on the school bus.

A school bus driver with Dietrich in Grand Forks is caught on camera pulling the hair of a student who he thought mouthed off to him.

GRAND FORKS — A Grand Forks mom Angie Bahl is speaking out after an incident on a school bus involving her son.

Some are upset by the behavior of a bus driver caught on video by students on the bus.

The video shows a bus driver grabbing the hair of two students on Friday, March 10, during a South Middle School route home.

We are not identifying the driver, since the Grand Forks Police Department said there is no investigation into the driver's conduct.

Bahl said she is sharing her family's story, not to point the finger at the driver, but to have a discussion about the bigger issue; the behavior of students and their impact on the bus driver shortage crisis.


"I think he got pushed too far and made poor choices," said Bahl, the mother of one of the student's who had his hair pulled. The bus driver apologized to him.

The minute-long video does not show why the bus driver initially stopped the bus to yell at the kids before walking back toward the driver's seat. He then returned to the back of the bus after a student yelled something at him.

"I've taken a deep breath and I just want to find a solution. I don't want to finger point," Bahl said.

Dietrich Bus, who is contracted by the Grand Forks School District, said no action has been taken against the bus driver at this time.

"Communicating with individuals and getting all the specifics in order just to make sure we've got all the pieces to the puzzle," said Brian Yanish, the general manager at Dietrich Bus.

Bahl, who is also quick to point out some of the kids were being disrespectful, does not want the driver fired or charged. Rather, she wants the community to work together to come up with solutions.

One of her suggestions are for bus monitors or parents volunteering to sit on the bus to supervise and remove problem kids from the bus.

Bahl also wants the bus company and school to alert parents more often when there are incidents.


"I've raised my kids to be respectful, but I'm not ignorant enough to think that when they are with their friends or their kids, that they might not do things when they are dared to do it or that they may not misbehave," she said.

"The school bus needs to be thought of an extension of the classroom," Yanish added.

Everything has to be on the table now for a potential solution, Yanish noted. And while admitting this video looks "bad" at a time when the driver shortage is in crisis mode, maybe this will encourage someone to step up and want to be part of the solution.

He said 95% of their routes don't have issues, and reminds people the job can be very rewarding - especially for the kids.

"We can be the constant for them in the morning, and say, 'Good morning,'" Yanish said. "A bus driver can be somebody who sees the basketball game the night before, and can say, 'Hey, great job in the game last night,' or highlight some of their achievements."

"We are never going to get more drivers on these routes if they are expected to drive the bus and monitor these kids," Bahl said.

The Grand Forks School District will assist in securing a bus monitor for this particular route as a result of last week's incident.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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