- Associated Press - Thursday, November 20, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A flawed notification system allows some school bus drivers charged with crimes to stay on the job without the districts or parents knowing, according to a central Ohio TV news report.

WBNS-TV (https://bit.ly/1uNmJQo ) in Columbus reported Thursday that the Ohio Department of Education has a notification system that automatically alerts school districts of bus driver charges and convictions. But because the system is triggered when the drivers are fingerprinted, weeks or months can go by before the system is triggered. Some people charged with misdemeanors aren’t fingerprinted by police at all.

Even when fingerprints are taken, the station found several instances when the system failed and notification was delayed. The station found bus drivers arrested after they were hired for crimes including theft, assault and domestic violence.

The Ohio attorney general’s office said an improved system will be launched by the end of November.

One man who drives for Columbus city schools was accused in April of pointing a gun at his wife’s head. He pleaded guilty to aggravated menacing but was still driving kids to school. The state notification system failed to notify Columbus City Schools of his record. He resigned Wednesday.

Another Columbus school bus driver was arrested for scratching and hitting her daughter, but it took nearly five months for the district to be told by the state, WBNS reported.

The fact that school districts don’t know about these bus drivers concerned Kim Maloney, mother of a kindergartner in Columbus.

“They could be convicted a year or more down the line and a bus driver could be driving my sons to school and back,” she said.

There are about 34,000 school bus drivers statewide, according to the Ohio Department of Education.


Information from: WBNS-TV, https://www.10tv.com/

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