SBF Incident Report Roundup: Feb. 16, 2022
SBF Incident Report Roundup: Feb. 16, 2022

Former Florida School Transportation Director Charged with Theft

Derald Sweatt, who was Clay County (Fla.) School District’s student transportation director, has been charged along with his wife, Shannon, with grand theft in connection with the disappearance of more than $8,300 worth of school district property. Sweatt left the school district in November 2021, according to First Coast News. In a statement, the Clay County School District stated: “CCDS is aware of the arrest of the former employee. When allegations were brought forth, the employee was immediately removed from their position and subsequently resigned.”

Sheriff: Inebriated Florida Bus Driver Carried Middle School Students Home

A 60-year-old school bus driver with the Flagler County (Fla.) School District was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and child neglect after authorities say he drank alcohol before his shift and then drove dozens of middle school students home. Mark Michael McNeil allegedly had a blood-alcohol content level of .32 and .31 on respective tests – four times the legal limit in Florida. A co-worker reported their concerns about him. According to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the school district tried contacting McNeil without success and eventually he called by radio to say he was having a medical emergency.

“This drunk thought it was okay to endanger 40 children and other drivers by driving a loaded school bus significantly impaired,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Thankfully, no one was hurt as a result of his actions.”

Massachusetts Bus Driver Attacked Over Marijuana

A Boston (Mass.) Public Schools bus driver told a student aboard a bus from Excel High School to extinguish a marijuana cigarette, but the student attacked Jean Blaise instead. According to Boston 25 News, the school district confirmed the assault and officials have identified the student. Blaise said the student broke his nose, bruised his left eye, and caused severe headaches.

Minnesota Bus Driver Shot, Expected to Fully Recover

A Minneapolis school bus driver was struck in the face by a stray bullet, according to a search warrant filed on Feb. 14. The driver, who hasn’t been identified, worked for Metropolitan Transportation Network. Three children under the age of 10 were aboard the bus at the time, but none of them were injured. The driver has since left the hospital and is now recovering at home, according to news reports. The warrant indicated that the bus driver may have been hit during an exchange of gunfire between two motorists on the street.

New York School Bus Driver Accused of Drunk Driving

A New York school bus driver carrying a girls’ basketball team drove drunk on Interstate 88, according to state police and the Cohoes City School District. A Cohoes coach apparently called 911 to report the driver. The Durham School Services driver, identified as Harry Olivier, 43, was charged with felony driving while intoxicated and 11 counts of misdemeanor child endangerment. State police tested Olivier and found a 0.06% blood-alcohol content, above the legal limit for driving a school bus.

Said school district Superintendent Peggy O’Shea: “This incident is obviously concerning and the district is taking this very seriously. We have reached out to Durham for a review of their hiring, screening, and training protocols that are in place to make sure students are safely transported to and from school events.”

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Former Executive Editor

Wes Platt is the former executive editor of School Bus Fleet magazine.

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