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Driver accused of hot-bus punishment resigns job

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POSTED August 28, 2014 8:29 p.m.

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school bus driver has resigned after being accused of making elementary-age students sit with the windows up in hot weather as a punishment.

Lebanon school officials had placed driver Benjamin Spaulding on administrative leave after hearing complaints about what happened Monday afternoon. They say the seven-year driver resigned just before a scheduled disciplinary hearing Wednesday in the southwest Ohio city.

Spaulding’s listed phone number wasn’t in service Thursday.

Police were investigating complaints that Spaulding pulled the bus over Monday because students were unruly, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported. He ordered them to close windows, then left them inside for a yet-undetermined time before returning to finish his route, officials said. The temperature was about 90 degrees Monday afternoon.

Police Sgt. Dave Gehringer said the investigation was still in its early stages, and it’s too soon to say whether it could result in charges.

Lebanon police said in a press release that investigators don’t believe any students suffered any physical harm, but Gehringer said police wanted to hear from parents whose students might have been harmed. Police also contacted Spaulding to set up an interview.

School officials said students from an elementary school and an intermediate school were aboard.

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