Lakewood bus driver recognized for saving choking student

Clover Park School District bus driver Janice Batiste (left) helped a choking student during her afternoon route on Jan. 14. (Credit: Clover Park School District)

A Lakewood bus driver was honored after her heroic efforts in saving a student who was choking on her bus. 

The Clover Park School District said on Jan. 14, Janice Batiste was on her afternoon route for Lakes High School when one of the students started choking. 

Batiste pulled over, asked the students to get off the bus and started the Heimlich maneuver. 

The student coughed up a plastic ring from the top of a soda bottle.

"I didn’t really think about what I was doing, it just kind of kicked in, and I knew what to do," she said. "The students on my bus are my kids, and I am always ready to do what I need to do to help any of them."

Batiste has worked in the school district for more than 30 years. 

On Thursday, the school district announced that Superintendent Ron Banner recognized her for her actions during a short ceremony. 

"The actions Janice took are not something you do for appreciation, but it's something we train for regularly," Banner said. "We hope to never have to use that training, but we're so thankful that she was ready to help when needed.

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