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School District Responds to Bus Driver Arrest

Administrators have met with the bus company to ensure that everything was done to prevent an incident.

In the fallout from , members of the school district are ensuring that the primary concern is for the students who were involved.

Adam Steel, business administrator for the district, wants to make sure there is no lasting effect in terms of being upset from the experience.

"Any of (the students) that might have had a traumatic experience or might have seen the incident -- it's scary for them," said Steel. "We want to make sure we provide them the support they need to trust the bus transportation."

Steel said the district met with First Student, the bus company which employs the drivers. They will follow up on Wednesday to make sure that protocols were in place and everything was done to prevent the incident.

"We always want to make sure that we take every major incident and kind of have a debrief and analysis of what led to it," said Steel. "We're in that process."

According to Steel, the school board has already been moving forward with a transportation study. A consultant will be on site in a couple of weeks to help go through the process.

"We've been with the same transportation company for a number of years," said Steel. "The district is interested in making sure that we're still doing the right thing by outsourcing transportation."

The school board will look to see if anything new can be done to make sure a repeat occurence doesn't happen. Steel said he considers the arrest to be an isolated incident.

"I had no concerns leading up to this incident that we should be on the lookout for this sort of behavior," he said. "If I did, we would have had an intervention with the bus company. If I have any concerns about a bus driver or a bus, it's not going to roll. It's not going to start picking up kids until my concerns are relieved."

In the hours after the incident, school board Vice Chairman Bruce Anderson briefly spoke with Steel to determine what will be done moving forward. Anderson explained that the board wanted to stay out of the way of lead administrators during the first 24 hours while they focused on the students and parents.

"The phone was ringing off the hook at the SAU office and middle school," said Anderson. "Those concerns from parents are being brought in and being handled."

He commended the efforts of the students who were on the bus for quickly recognizing the situation and jumping into action.

"The kids on that bus performed very well," said Anderson. "They reported this to the teachers at the school so that the driver did not go out and do another route to pick up kids at Golden Brook and Center School."

Anderson paralleled Steel's notion that an inquiry with First Student is to come. The district will want to know whether there was something about the driver that should have been caught, and whether the company did everything by the book.

Daniel Moulis, principal at the middle school, was also pleased with the way everything was handled Monday. He explained that his staff did a great job and that those involved are putting the ordeal behind them.

"Everyone involved yesterday, from our guidance counselors to our students and teachers, handled the situation and we're moving forward," said Moulis. "Our kids did a great job. They let us know immediately, we responded accordingly and went from there."

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