VALPARAISO, Ind. — A school bus driver here has been fired and was arrested on Friday for allegedly letting three students drive her bus, police said.

A video posted on Twitter on Friday by @_caseyweber shows the driver, who the Porter County Sheriff’s Department identified as Joandrea McAtee, appearing to advise a child who is sitting in the driver’s seat and appears to be steering the school bus, to put her foot on the brake, CBS Chicago reports. In that video, McAtee also appears to tell students not to “tell other adults about this.”

In another video, also posted on the social media site by @breelavin24, McAtee allegedly says that she is letting a student, who appears to be steering the bus, “stop at Michael’s stop.”

In a letter from the Porter Township School Corp. to parents, the district said that it was made aware of the incident on Thursday, according to CBS Chicago. Parents at Boone Grove High School told a school resource officer that McAtee was letting students take turns driving the bus on the way home from school. After learning of the alleged incidents, the school district and police began an investigation, and the district and school bus company terminated McAtee’s employment.

The Porter County Sheriff’s Department said that McAtee had allegedly allowed three students — who were 11, 13, and 17 years old — to drive the bus down part of a street in rural Valparaiso while other students were on board, CBS Chicago reports.

The Sheriff’s Department also said that McAtee was arrested on Friday at the Porter Township bus barn when she went to collect her paycheck, according to NBC News. She was charged with neglect of a dependent, which is a felony charge, according to the news source.

Watch one of the videos posted on Twitter of one of the alleged incidents below.

About the author
Nicole Schlosser

Nicole Schlosser

Former Executive Editor

Nicole was an editor and writer for School Bus Fleet. She previously worked as an editor and writer for Metro Magazine, School Bus Fleet's sister publication.

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