Jeanette Burrage resigns from Des Moines City Council Wednesday

Des Moines City Councilmember Jeanette Burrage – who has been charged with assaulting a special needs student riding on a Highline School District bus she was driving (read our previous coverage here) – submitted her resignation from the council on Wednesday, April 22.

Burrage, 62, had been driving buses for Highline Transportation since 2012.

She was placed on administrative leave by the school district after this incident, which happened on March 10.

“I appreciate Councilmember Burrage’s consideration of the Council’s important work, and recognizing the distraction her situation would have caused if she remained on the Council,” Mayor Dave Kaplan told The Waterland Blog.

Here’s her full letter of resignation:

“Dear Mayor, City Councilmembers, and People of Des Moines,

It is with a heavy heart that I resign my position as a Des Moines City Councilmember. The City Council has important work to do and I anticipate the only way I can minimize the distraction to the City Council, caused by the recent school bus incident, is to resign effective immediately.

Jeanette Burrage”


3 Responses to “Jeanette Burrage resigns from Des Moines City Council Wednesday”
  1. Pat Nardo says:

    Knowing that Jeannette was an asset to our council, it is a sad ending to what seemed to be a fruitful journey through our council. Even in this dark period she decides to leave rather than create any further impediment to the good works of our council. For this, she should be commended, and she leaves with our best wished for clarification and (we hope) vindication. Hopefully our council can find someone to complete he term in office.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 12

  2. Elvysdotter says:

    This was the perfect storm. No district should place a very young, extremely behaviorally disabled autistic student on a strange bus with new kids and adults. Even if there was a shortage of bus drivers that day, it does not warrant placing him on a unfamiliar bus with students and staff that are strangers to him. Highline administration should have had the foresight to prevent an instance like this. The child should have been sent home with security or mother if available when his regular van was not available.

    What the bus driver did was inappropriate but in my opinion she is not squarely to blame. She is taking the fall for

    this. Sad…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  3. Pat Nardo says:

    While sharing this sad new with friends in Des Moines, I received this note (name withheld) “Hi Pat
    Thanks for the note.
    I heard a KOMO radio interview with Jeanette earlier today as well as some of the circumstances surrounding the incident on the bus.
    I would imagine that given the same set of circumstances, I may have done exactly the same thing; it was a bit of an impossible position to be in.
    It distresses me however that it should affect her city council position as she was a valuable asset to the City of Des Moines.
    And, here we have congressmen who can take paid leave with ten counts against them and they skate by like nothing is happening.
    Very unfair world we live in.
    I wish Jeanette the best and hope that perhaps when all of the facts are available, she can reclaim her life.” I think this says it all though I feel sad for the boy as well.

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