Police: ‘Suspicious school bus’ part of training exercise

Parents say 'school bus' driver was offering rides to students on Monday

School bus file

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Police said on Tuesday that a report of an unauthorized school bus offering rides to students in the Battle Ground School District was conducting a bus stop exercise at the time.

The Battle Ground Police Department said their investigation into the report found that “the bus in question was a school district bus occupied by a new driver and a trainer who were on legitimate business conducting a bus stop exercise.”

A spokesperson from the district said once they learned that a “school bus” driver had offered a to a student, the district sent phone messages and emails to about 15,000 parents to warn them of the potential danger Monday evening.

“I said never accept a ride from anyone even if it looks like a normal school bus driver. They don’t do that,” said Mary Urban, whose two children attend Battle Ground area schools.

Urban added that a Facebook post she saw about the incident indicated that the driver of the bus tried to make contact with a girl, as she played in her own front yard.

According to the school district, the new driver and his trainer did not ask the girl to get on the bus. They said the pair were doing simulated bus stops near Daybreak Schools when they opened the bus door and said,”Hi” and then went on with their training.

District officials said they couldn’t track the bus identified that the girls identified on Friday because they were given inaccurate bus number information.

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