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Student records school bus driver texting while driving

Posted at 8:32 AM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 08:32:45-04

DES MOINES, Iowa -- An Iowa school bus driver was fired from her job and may face criminal charges after she was caught on video texting while driving. A 14-year-old student recorded the 18-second clip which showed the driver looking down at her cell phone and texting while the bus was in motion.

"I don't care if it was 18 seconds or 18 minutes, it shouldn't be happening," mother Robin Koch said."You're putting my child and everybody else's child on that bus in harms way - and other drivers on the road."

A spokesman for the Iowa school district said the driver had been on the job about four years and was trained to know about the dangers of distracted driving.

"I just think our priorities with technology have gotten a little out of whack," Koch added.

The driver, who admitted to texting when asked by her bosses,  could face criminal charges.

Texting while driving is a secondary offense in Iowa, but it is considered a primary offense for commercial drivers.

Bus driver Jacque Gibson told KCCI why she texted while driving the school bus.

"I acknowledge that's something that may be dangerous, but that's not something I do," Gibson said. "I had a family situation going on that day, and it just happened."

She called her mistake a "first strike" and said she felt a suspension was more appropriate than losing her job.

"We have the hardest job in the Des Moines School District, the bus drivers, we're dealing with a lot," Gibson said. "I feel like it's their loss that they lost me as a good driver, (because) the way drivers come there, always coming and going. I was a very good driver, so it's their loss not mine. I can find a job anywhere."