Bus Driver Suspended Over Atheist Ad Returns to Work

The Christian bus driver in Iowa who was suspended last week for refusing to drive a bus that carried an ad for an atheist group returned to work Monday after settling on one of four options that she had been given.

Angela, Shiel, 41, decided to resume her current position at the Des Moines Regional Transit Authority instead of resigning or driving paratransit buses – few of which have ads.

Shiel did not, however, agree to drive any bus. So should she refuse to drive as she did last week, she will face termination.

"Hopefully I won't get the sign anymore," she told the Des Moines Register, referring to the bus ad paid for by the Iowa Atheists & Freethinkers. "It's a chance I have to take. …I like what I'm doing. I don't want to start all over."

According to DART General Manager Brad Miller, bus assignments are made on the spot, based on such factors as the number of seats and mileage.

"There's no assurances that there might not be another ad she doesn't agree with," he told the Register. "There's so many different things that go into that, there's no way we can guarantee anything."

Still, despite the risk, Miller said the transit authority was willing to give Shiel a second chance.

According to the local newspaper, 20 of the DART's 120 fix-route buses feature the ad on their side.

The ads will remain on the buses through the second week of September.

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