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Ohio County Bus Driver Placed On Administrative Leave

WHEELING — An Ohio County Schools bus driver accused this week of endangering students on multiple occasions has been removed from the job.

“The employee is on administrative leave as Ohio County Schools continues to investigate the situation,” said Gabe Wells, communications coordinator for Ohio County Schools.

He said the situation was a personnel matter, and he had no additional comment. The driver was not identified.

Parents Brian Phillips and Stephanie Stauver addressed the Ohio County Board of Education on Monday night, telling them of experiences they have had with the driver, who transports children along a route on Stone Church Road.

Phillips told the board his wife recently found their son, who has autism, alone and crying on the porch after being left there by the driver. The bus had stopped at the home, about five minutes before the child’s mother arrived home from work.

Phillips also spoke of how the same driver, while stuck in traffic in front of his house, told a child on the bus to exit the bus and go knock on their door when the child told the driver he had to go to the bathroom.

“Anybody could have been in that house,” he told the board. “She could have put kids in harm’s way.”

Stauver spoke of how on another occasion the bus moved past her house without letting her two children off one day. The driver soon remembered missing the stop, and asked the driver of a passing pickup truck to take the children back to their home.

“She put the kids in a truck with strangers,” she said.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Stauver said Assistant Superintendent Rick Jones called her Tuesday to ask permission to go to the school to speak with her children. She agreed, since other school officials would be present.

“They both asked my children separately what happened,” she said. “When I picked the kids up from aftercare, they told me all about it. (My son was) asked why he didn’t question the bus driver about getting into the man’s vehicle. Are you kidding me! He didn’t question it, because he is a 10-year-old child.

“He didn’t question an adult because he has been taught to respect his elders. He didn’t question it because he was with a trusted adult and was doing what this trusted adult told him to do. He didn’t question it because he is a child and should not be expected to make adult decisions,” she wrote.

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