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GCPS bus driver fired

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Gwinnett County school bus driver was fired Wednesday for reportedly squirting a student with a toy water gun on the penultimate day of school, district officials said.

Eugene Flathmann was accused of squirting a Chattahoochee Elementary School student Tuesday with a water gun he previously confiscated from a middle schooler, Gwinnett County Public Schools spokesman Jorge Quintana said.

The student reportedly told Flathmann he would spit on him if the bus driver continued to use the water gun on him, Quintana said. According to the student, the bus driver continued to squirt him and then struck him.

A school resource officer and the school system's human resources department began investigating the incident Tuesday, Quintana said. Flathmann did not drive a bus Wednesday, the final day of the school year.

Flathmann's employment was terminated "because of the alleged use of the water gun on the student," Quintana said.

"Weapons are not allowed on campus or on a school bus, including toys that appear to be weapons," Quintana said.

The school resource officer is still investigating the incident, Quintana said. No criminal charges had been filed Wednesday afternoon.

Flathmann had worked for the school district since March 31, 2008. The school system conducted a background check before he was hired, and Flathmann had excellent references, Quintana said.