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 FL bus driver placed on unpaid suspension
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news
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Canada
2951 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2006 :  10:45:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
March 15, 2006 - The News-Press, FL - A Lee County school bus driver was placed on unpaid suspension Tuesday for refusing to take a drug test and getting into a tussle with his supervisor after a citizen's complaint about erratic driving, Nov. 3. The driver, who has been on paid suspension since Nov. 4, is challenging the disciplinary action.

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william
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USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2006 :  1:11:23 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Someone please tell me how a school district could allow a person taking a narcotic such as Oxycodone to drive a school bus. I wonder if any federal law applies to Florida. I read in these pages where hours of service does not pertain to school buses in Florida so it appears that drugs do not either.

Oxycodone is a depressant and affects the central nervous system, producing sleepiness, tiredness and/or ability to concentrate, and this guy continued to drive a school bus with the district's blessing. A more familiar name for this drug is percocet. Unbelievable, if this was any state other than Florida.

William
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80-RE4
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USA
5700 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2006 :  2:44:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a strange story. I have known many school bus drivers who have been prescribed narcotic pain killers such as Vicodin or Percocet who would use the medication after they were complete with their routes, but would never use the medication during routes because they had common sense. Sometimes strong pain killers are needed when pain is unbearable for unforeseen circumstances when used correctly and not abused and once again USED CORRECTLY. One bus driver had an awful back pain and would only take ADVIL during the day but as soon as she went home she had Percocet and would use that but would NEVER use it during the day.

This bus driver in Florida obviously was addicted to the medication and should have not been driving the school bus. I think this was more of a case of a substance abuse problem which the district allowed. First of all, how can someone refuse a drug test and just be suspended? I thought you were fired if you refused a drug test? Secondly, why did this school bus driver take the Percocet while performing a safety sensitive job? Thirdly, he was obviously dependent on the drug, perhaps if the district known about it, they could have offered him a paid leave of absence and supplied him the option of a substance abuse program instead of letting the driver continue to drive.

I do believe that Percocett is the narcotic form of Opium? But I'm not quite sure. It has 5% Opium and 350 percent of amphetamine Or whatever itís called (a/pap?) (I might be wrong?). When he admitted to the use of Percocet the district should have put the breaks on and said "do you take it while you are driving or do you take it after routes, do you take it for long term use, can we get documentation from your doctor to say that it does not effect your driving, is there something else you can take that won't effect your driving, is this the right job for you seeing that this drug has altering effects on your mind if you need to take the drug all day..

How many Percocets did this bus driver take? Was he addicted to the side effects (did it make him feel like he was in a state of ecstasy) was he taking more and more to get the same effects....Just because it's prescribed doesn't mean it's not addicting like heroin (isn't it a form of heroin or opium?)

Just think the driver and/or the employer should have or could have used better judgment and sought some type of employee assistance program. But they allowed him to continue to drive. It's also weird because why was he carrying a knife? And why was their brown dust on his credit card? Strange. Maybe it was a witch hunt, but either way, something isn't matching up.

Isn't it federal law that if you deny a drug test you are booted? Why did he refuse the drug test this time? Was he on something more than just Percocet? Maybe something more stronger like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, or drunk? Don't know. If I were the employer or manager and he refused to take the drug test: he would have received his last pay check from me and a pink slip (isnít that the way it is supposed to work)?
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william
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USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2006 :  6:17:51 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Yes it is federal law that refusing to take a legally mandated drug test is the same as having a positive result. Therefore, why a suspension without pay? Maybe they had probable cause to suspect something other than the percocet, but as you say, something does not measure up here. After all, if they knew he was using percocet, why the reluctance to take a test? Was he afraid of what they would find, or what?

Hopefully, these questions will be answered soon.


William
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2006 :  07:15:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by #80AmtranRE4

... When he admitted to the use of Percocet the district should have put the breaks on and said "do you take it while you are driving or do you take it after routes, do you take it for long term use, can we get documentation from your doctor to say that it does not effect your driving, is there something else you can take that won't effect your driving, is this the right job for you seeing that this drug has altering effects on your mind if you need to take the drug all day. ...


I have some difficulty accepting Percocet as a buzz drug. The side effects are not pleasant, leastwise in my case can cause severe stomach pain and irritability when taken over time. A trace of alcohol in the system from some cold medicines is sufficient to bring out the nut-cases screaming dangerous bus driver. A prescription narcotic would be even worse.

It all seems irrelevant, in that taking the drug at night still would be picked up in a drug test the next day or so, bringing overreaction from most everywhere. And not submitting to a drug test does result in an automatic positive for drugs.

Either way I see issues in conflict.

I'm recovering from surgery, taking Percocet at night to eliminate the pain so I can sleep. I would consider it a dumb move to try to drive a school bus when taking any narcotic, would certainly prefer it in writing from the employer acknowledging and ordering me to drive while taking a narcotic - or at least a doctor's return to driving duties notice. I doubt a competent medical doctor would give such a notice when a narcotic is involved, even though a mild dose of Percocet has little or no actual effect on driving skills after an hour or so, in my opinion.

Regardless, the politically correct fallout is too great to bother with - just don't need it going on with all the crap bus drivers must deal with these days.

Desperate employers and desperate school bus drivers do what they think they must I would suppose. The predominate thought, and regardless of the actual effects of a drug, is any potential consequences happens at other places and with other bus drivers - can't happen here - can't happen to me - I'm competent.

Both sound like a drug addict talking.

I would support termination, not because of the drug issue, but simply for refusing to take the drug test, and provided the employer both warned the bus driver and also documented that refusing the test would result an automatic failure. (jk)

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Edited by - JK on 03/21/2006 07:22:06 AM
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william
Top Member

USA
1912 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2006 :  1:45:15 PM  Show Profile  Click to see william's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I wholeheartedly agree, JK.

William
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