29. Parent: School Bus Drivers Smell of Alcohol (Indiana)
September 9, 2007
Although he's skeptical about a parent's allegations that some bus drivers are coming to work with alcohol on their breath, school Superintendent Tony Lux said the district is investigating the claim.
Parent Philip Martin told board members Tuesday that some parents with whom he has spoken claim to have smelled alcohol on the breath of their children's bus drivers. Martin also said students are allowed to "hang out the windows and smoke on the bus." He said some drivers talk on their cell phones while driving buses and drive at excessive speeds.
Martin and his wife have five children who are home-schooled, though they said their oldest son, a high school senior, has been a student in the district every fall semester for the past three years.
Martin, who admits he has no direct knowledge of bus drivers with alcohol on their breath, said he was chosen by parents to speak on their behalf because he has no children currently in the system and would not have to worry about repercussions.
School Board President Mark Lucas said he is very concerned by Martin's statements and board members have children who also ride the school buses.
Lux said he will investigate the complaints, and anyone who is caught with alcohol or smelling of alcohol will automatically be suspended and could ultimately be terminated.
"Anyone who has that kind of information is doing a terrible disservice if they are not coming forward to report specific information," Lux said.
Lux said the district would take severe action against anyone who is aware of these activities and doesn't report it.
In the last four years, four drivers were released for alcohol or drugs in their system, Lux said. He said annual test results are audited by the Indiana State Police.
Lux said there was one case last school year in which a substitute bus driver came to work with alcohol on his breath and "he was identified and dismissed immediately."