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Fosston bus driver claims defamation after 8-year-old girl says she was bullied

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The school bus driver of an 8-year-old Fosston, Minn., girl who said she was bullied on the bus, said Monday that he had “never knowingly allowed a student to be bullied” on his route.

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Oran Underdahl said in a statement that he will evaluate potential legal claims against those who made “defamatory statements” about him.

The statement included the name of his attorney, Kristi Hastings of Fergus Falls, Minn.

Underdahl said he has a clean safety record and no disciplinary history in the six years he has worked for Fosston Public Schools. “I take pride in my work, and I have genuine concern for the students who ride my bus.”

Anna Cymbaluk’s mother filmed her in tears last week and put the video on Facebook showing Anna and her younger brother Ben claiming they had been targeted by bullies on the bus while the driver sat idly by. Anna said the driver told her to “sit your (expletive) down.”

The video has since gone viral.

Last week, school officials declined to comment on the validity of the claims made against Underdahl.

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