13/04/2011 13:21 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Parents Angry At Drunk School Bus Driver's Punishment

When you kiss your child goodbye as they head for school, little do you think one of the adults responsible for them will be under the influence of alcohol.

But this was the scenario facing 37 children in America whose bus driver was nearly two times over the alcohol limit. She has now been sentenced but some parents are outraged and say it's not enough.

And who can blame them?

Several students begged bus driver Martha Thompson, aged 56, to pull over and a video captures the terrifying journey. According to the CBS "Early Show" her blood alcohol level was .15 which is almost twice the New York state legal limit of .08 percent.

She pleaded guilty in November to 37 counts of child endangerment and driving while intoxicated on May 8. This week she was sentenced to six months electronic home monitoring, five years probation, 12 weekends in jail and compulsory alcohol counselling.

But one of the parents of a teenager on board told the Early Show she was upset and outraged by what she considered was a lenient punishment.

Lori Loomis said: "I just don't think it's a harsh enough punishment for this woman. She put all these children's lives in danger. She could have killed them all. I'm very upset with the outcome."

Her daughter, Chelsey Pierce, 15, and a friend, Grace Scherzer, 16, helped children get off the bus through the back exit while Thompson ranted for them to remain on the bus.

Grace told the Early Show that she noticed the bus was swerving all over the road so she approached Thompson and asked if she was OK to drive.

Thompson told her she was but still continued to drive erratically. Later the teenager managed to get the back door of the bus open and helped usher the other children off the vehicle.

Thomas D Trbovich, Thompson's attorney, told the show that his client was embarrassed and apologised to the children.
"She never, ever would intentionally put any of those children... in any type of risk," he added.

Do you think the punishment was enough or do you think she should have been dealt with more harshly?

Source (ParentDish US)