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“I Love My Kids.” Brave Driver Saves 40 Children From Burning School Bus.

two-photo collage. on the left there is a picture of the burning school bus. on the right there is a picture of the school bus charred remains.

School bus drivers are the unsung heroes of public school systems everywhere.

Families of students at Imagine Schools in West Melbourne, Florida likely have a newfound appreciation for bus driver Janet O’Connell. One Tuesday afternoon at the end of the school year, Janet had just picked up 40 children ranging from kindergartners to 6th-graders when she saw smoke coming from under her bus’s hood.

Without missing a beat, Janet pulled the bus over and started evacuating her students. She managed to get every single child outside of the bus as the smoke turned into a raging fire, gutting the vehicle inside and out. By the time first responders arrived, Janet and her kids were watching the fire from a safe distance, completely unharmed in spite of the obvious danger.

Authorities think the fire was caused by an electrical issue. School Principal Brian DeGonzague said he wasn’t the least bit surprised that Janet rose to the occasion when the chips were down.

“When there’s a child in need, she steps up,” Brian said.

Not only did she do what she had to do in an emergency, Janet refuses to take credit or receive praise in any way for her heroic act.

“When I spoke to her about it, she said, ‘Brian, I did what I did because I love my kids,'” the principal recalled. ”What she did was pretty incredible.”

In a statement, the school praised Janet for her quick-thinking and flawless execution of their emergency procedure.

“We are blessed that everyone is safe,” they stated. “This is due to the quick actions of our driver, Ms. Janet, and the students. We are proud that our students showed how they are leaders of great character as they assisted one another.” 

We refuse to think about how tragically this scene could have been. Thank goodness Janet was there to shield her kids from harm.

Share this story to thank Janet for risking her life to save these young students.

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