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People raise thousands of dollars for bus driver who was fired after she 'mistakenly' drank alcohol on the job

People raise thousands of dollars for bus driver who was fired after she 'mistakenly' drank alcohol on the job

Thousands of people have shown their support for bus driver Amal Hanna after the White Claw was spotted in her cup holder

Members of the public have come together to raise thousands of dollars for a bus driver who was fired after being spotted drinking White Claw on the job.

Amal Hanna had been driving students home from school in Smithtown when the alcoholic seltzer water was seen in her cup holder, where she'd placed it after grabbing it from her fridge at home.

The sight resulted in Hanna's 'immediate' removal from the bus service, with Long Island company We Transport Bus Company saying her alleged conduct was 'completely unacceptable'.

Mark Secaur, Smithtown Central School District Superintendent, added that the district had 'zero tolerance for this behavior' - but Hanna has insisted that her 'behavior' was entirely accidental.

Speaking to News 12, she claimed she'd grabbed the White Claw by 'mistake', thinking it was a regular seltzer.

The bus driver is currently going through chemotherapy treatments, which have left her struggling to taste properly.

Amal Hanna insisted she didn't know the White Claw was alcoholic.
News 12 Long Island/Altice USA

"For people like me that don’t drink - how are they going to know this is alcohol?" she said. "I have been crying and crying, I don't even have any more tears. It was just a mistake, it was a mistake."

Though the bus company and school district were firm in their responses, members of the public have been more forgiving of Hanna and have started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the now-jobless woman.

The fundraiser had a target of $15,000, and read: "Miss Hanna has been a beloved bus driver for 15 years. The children on her bus said she was is kindest woman who was like a grandma to them.

"She is undergoing chemotherapy and made an honest mistake that cost her her job. My children were on the bus that day. They knew the circumstances had to be a mistake.

"Emotionally and financially she needs help. Please take a moment to watch her story and consider helping her to recover in peace."

Thousands of dollars has been raised for Hanna.
News 12 Long Island/Altice USA/GoFundMe

The fundraiser may help alleviate some of Hanna's worries about being unable to pay for her treatments without a job, though the money isn't the only thing she'll miss.

Noting that she's lost the 'bright spot' in her life that came with working with children, she said: "I go in the morning, so happy, see the kids, say ‘Good morning, how are you,’ give them a big smile."

At the time of writing (11 October), the fundraiser has exceeded its goal and raised $15,532.

The Suffolk County Police Department has said it will not press charges against Hanna.

You can donate money to the fundraiser for Hanna here.

Featured Image Credit: Long Island News 12

Topics: Health, Money, US News, Food and Drink