School Bus Driver Fired for Drinking White Claw on the Job Claims It Was All a Big Mistake

Drinking and driving is never a great idea, but doing so, when you have children in your care is even more of a problem. So naturally, when a school district on New York’s Long Island discovered that one of its long-time bus drivers drank on the job, she was terminated.

Now, that woman has come forward claiming that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. She didn’t know the beverage she grabbed that day had alcohol in it, and her ongoing chemotherapy treatment prevented her from tasting it.

Amal Hanna is scared she will be homeless after losing her job over a mistake.
Amal has been working as a bus driver for the Smithtown Central School District and WE Transport Inc. for the past 15 years. Now, with her recent termination, she fears financial ruin and even homelessness as she fights to beat an unspecified type of cancer, Yahoo News reported.

During an interview with Long Island News 12, Hanna, 60, removed her hat to show her bald head as evidence of her chemotherapy treatment. “It was just a mistake, it was a mistake,” she shared.

Hanna’s mistake began when she grabbed a can of White Claw from the fridge she shares with her roommate.
She was under the impression that it was a regular fruity seltzer. She had it in the cupholder on the bus and had been drinking it throughout the course of the day before driving kids from Smithtown High School West home in the afternoon.

During the trip, someone noticed the can and the words “hard seltzer” on the front. Eventually, the district learned about the drink and Hanna was removed from her route before she had a chance to complete it.

Hanna does not drink and said she didn’t know what the term ‘hard’ meant in terms of beverages.
Hanna brought a can similar to the one she had that day and pointed out the tiny font that warned about the beverage’s alcoholic content. “For people like me that don’t drink, how are they going to know this is alcohol?” Hanna asked aloud during the sit down News 12.

Egypt, where Hanna is originally from, is heavily influenced by Islamic teachings and forbids the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places or shops, with the exception of hotels and tourist spots. Hanna said she needs to stay hydrated due to her treatment, but was unaware of what the term “hard” meant in terms of beverages.

Parents don’t believe Hanna would do anything to harm their children.
Hanna is distraught because of the school district’s decision to fire her. “I have been crying and crying,” she said. “I don’t even have any more tears.” Hanna claims she loved her former employer and loved being there for the children. “I love the kids, I love my company,” she explained.

“I go in the morning, so happy, see the kids, say ‘Good morning, how are you,’ give them a big smile,” she said, adding it “makes my life happy when I see the kids going to school happy.” Several parents agreed. “She was so sweet and kind to them, I can’t imagine she would ever do anything to harm them,” one parent said.

The school district stands by its decision.
But WE Transport has taken a different approach. Superintendent of Schools for Smithtown Central School District Mark Secaur released a statement saying, “This alleged conduct is completely unacceptable, and the drinker has been immediately removed from service … Our students’ safety is of the utmost importance to the Smithtown Central School District. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to create a safe environment for all our students.”

On the other hand, the Suffolk County Police believe Hanna’s story. They don’t think she intentionally drank on the job, and because of the beverage’s low alcohol content, they decided not to file any criminal charges.