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1,026 in school-bus ban for bad conduct.

Byline: Claire Miller Reporter

TWO three-year-olds were among more than 1,000 pupils banned from school buses in Wales for bad behaviour over the past five years.

One of the toddlers was handed a five-day ban for failing to follow safety instructions. The other was suspended from the service for 45 days for physical assault.

Both were in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which issued bans to 383 pupils over the five-year period - more than any other local authority.

Pembrokeshire gave bans to 206 pupils and Cardiff to 111. In total, 1,026 bans have been handed out over the past five years. Among the offences for which pupils received bans were: Burning another pupil's hair with a cigarette lighter; Shooting a BB gun at a driver; | "Physically interfering with a female passenger"; Pointing a laser at a police car.

There were 104 bans handed out for physical assault and 12 for fighting, 32 for setting fire to something and 21 for opening emergency exits or rear doors while the vehicle was moving.

In Carmarthenshire, a pupil was banned for 10 days in 2009-10 for an act of gross indecency, another for five days for inappropriate sexual behaviour in 2010-11 and another for five days in 2009-10 for "physically interfering with a female passenger". Eight more pupils in RCT were banned, one permanently for sexual behaviour.

Two pupils were banned for five days each in 2013 in Bridgend for carrying out a dangerous act on a bus which put the lives of other pupils at risk, while a pupil in Blaenau Gwent was banned for 15 days in 2014-15 for climbing over the driver to get to the steering wheel.

Also in Bridgend, a pupil was banned for five days in 2012 for throwing a brick at the bus window from outside, while in Carmarthenshire, a pupil was banned for 10 days in 2011-12 for firing a BB gun at the driver, while another was banned for 10 days for pushing two pupils up against the rear window, which fell out.

A pupil aged around 15 in RCT was banned for 31 days for pointing a laser at a police car from the bus.

A pupil in Powys was banned for three days in 2010/11 for singeing another pupil's hair with a cigarette lighter.

Six pupils in RCT were banned for between 10 and 30 days for carrying offensive weapons, while 11 pupils across Wales had their travel suspended for lighting aerosol sprays, in five cases burning seats, and in one in Blaenau Gwent where it was described as being used as a flame-thrower.

There were 13 permanent bans handed out, including a child of around seven in RCT for physical assault and another of around 10 for sexual behaviour. Torfaen permanently suspended travel for bad behaviour to one pupil each in Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10. In Cardiff one pupil was permanently banned.

This school year, 23 pupils have been banned for incidents including spraying an aerosol in a pupil's face, causing "chemical burn", and throwing a drinks can and chewing- gum at a Year 7 pupil in Carmarthenshire.

Two pupils in RCT had travel suspended for assaulting others, and four in Gwynedd were banned for fighting. One pupil in Gwynedd banned for poor behaviour was in Year 1. In Cardiff, 43 pupils were also sent letters about their poor behaviour over the past five years. Figures were revealed following Freedom of Information Act requests to councils.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 14, 2015
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