School bus driver sues DOE for $10M

BROOKLYN - A school bus driver is suing the city for $10 million over allegations that he was attacked by students and the Department of Education did nothing to ensure his safety.

Thomas Fasanella says middle school students from P.S. 114 in Prospect Lefferts Gardens repeatedly verbally and physically abused him while he was driving them home. He says that he had filed at least 50 reports with the DOE about the situation, but it failed to take preventive actions.

Describing one of the alleged attacks, Fasanella says his eyes felt like they were about to pop out when a student started pummeling him from behind as he was driving.

One another occasion, Fasanella says one of the students was allegedly ?whacking? him on the back of the head with a belt buckle.

After taking months of abuse, Fasanella says he now has to undergo a knee surgery and physical therapy.

The DOE claims it suspended the students responsible, and Fasanella admits that additional staffers were put on the bus. Still, he says, the DOE did not do enough to make his work environment safe.

?Protecting the bus driver is protecting the kids because he's controlling a car that could be a weapon if it's lost control of,? says John Zambera, Fasanella's attorney.

The driver says after the surgery, he will take some time off, but he plans to be back behind the wheel of a bus on another route.

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