Indiana Bus Driver Arrested for Allowing Students to Drive Bus
An Indiana school bus driver was arrested Friday after she was caught on video allowing three students to drive her bus, police said.
Based on complaints received from parents of Boone Grove High School students that a bus driver was letting students drive the bus, officials launched an investigation. The driver, 27-years old Joandrea Dehaven McAtee stands accused of letting three students—aged 11, 13 and 17—take the wheel while other children were on the bus. She has been charged with felony neglect of a dependent.
According to Indiana state law, a person can be charged with neglect of a dependent if a decision "places the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent's life or health.”
“An investigation was immediately started and no one was injured or harmed. The Sheriff’s Office and the Porter Township School Corporation takes safety and security of every student seriously and every parent must understand that this case will be investigated thoroughly,” Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds said in a statement.
Porter Township School Corporation said that both students and parents reported the incident to the school administration and its investigation "quickly substantiated" that McAtee had allowed students to drive the bus.
In one of the videos posted on Twitter, a woman resembling McAtee can be seen standing over a child in the driver’s seat and saying, “Don’t you tell no other adults.”
Wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, Boone grove bus driver let’s a middle schooler drive, middle schooler drive. pic.twitter.com/IdF4zRkhRG— Casey✨ (@_caseyweber) September 21, 2018
When the incident came to light, ‘First Student’, the company that operates the buses in the area, and Porter Township School Corporation immediately fired McAtee.
The bus company issued a statement saying that they were incredibly disappointed by the actions of their former driver. Stressing the fact that the safety of the students is of utmost importance to them, the spokesperson for the bus company said, “There is nothing more important than the safety of the students we transport. Behavior such as this is completely unacceptable and totally at odds with what we stand for as a company. The driver was terminated. We have a zero-tolerance policy for employees whose actions may harm or put others at risk."
McAtee's only previous arrest was for speeding in her own vehicle in New Chicago, Indiana, in February 2017. She was found guilty by a court of driving 54-mph in a 35-mph zone and paid the resulting fine.