Bus driver fired

A bus driver for Grand Haven schools convicted on a drunk-driving charge is no longer behind the wheel.
Krystle Wagner
Jan 30, 2013

 

The woman was immediately suspended after being arrested in November 2012, which ultimately led to her termination as a bus driver when she was convicted in January, said Scott Grimes, the assistant superintendent of human services for Grand Haven Area Public Schools.

Grimes said he didn’t know if the school district employee was charged with operating under the influence or operating while under the influence.

“We haven’t been privy to any police reports,” he said.

The driver's name has not yet been released.

The Grand Haven Tribune submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the bus driver’s name and to view her personnel file on Monday. Grimes said the Tribune would be able to view the file by the end of the week or sooner, but he had to make sure what was in the file was legal to show the public.

Grimes said the woman began working for the school district in 2007, and said he wasn’t aware of any other reprimands or problems with her.

Grimes did not immediately know whether the woman was a full-time or part-time employee prior to this school year, but he said she was never at the 40 hours-per-week level. He said most of the district's drivers went to part-time positions this year because of the switch to all-day kindergarten.

After being placed on suspension, the woman's regular bus route was filled by a substitute driver. A permanent driver recently filled that position.

Parents and students weren’t informed of the incident because it happened on personal time.

“It was a private matter,” Grimes said.

For Michigan drivers, the legal blood-alcohol content limit is 0.08. Grimes said any kind of arrest or conviction for driving under the influence or varying blood-alcohol levels wouldn’t make a difference in the consequences.

“Bus driving is such a specialized skill,” he said. “We aren’t taking any chances with that.”

Although the woman's commercial driver’s license was taken away and she won’t be driving buses, she has since been hired to fill an open part-time cleaning position at the Grand Haven school district's Education Services Center. Grimes said she was hired for that job because she had previously cleaned for the district during summer months.

“She was a good worker,” he said.

 

Comments

SignalMaintainer

Yet they do not do anything about the female bus driver that runs activated railroad crossings with a bus full of kids... I have witnessed her do it three separate times over the last two years, same lady each time, and have contacted the school to no avail.

SignalMaintainer

I should also add that there is at least one harbor transit driver I have also witnessed running an activated RR crossing, along with countless fuel trucks (fuel trucks mostly on Van Wagoner), and countless motorists that do not even tap the brakes.

While I wave through people generally while I am performing my inspections, when I am not, many people see the work truck, and just assume its okay to blow through; there are times when there is a train actually approaching.

Enforcement REALLY needs to be stepped up in the area.

pkrs1234

Why is this 'News Worthy"? She was not driving a bus while drunk. Yes she should be fired from driving bus with losing her license, but why an entire article about it?

winston

On the front page no less. Great new coverage we have in our community. Would there even be a local newspaper if not for high school athletics? Or maybe it's the pages of dogs up for adoption that drives subscriptions...?

Boycotter

This is front page news? She was not on the job while this happened, I'm sure the courts will deliver just punishment. Who was involved in getting this story out in the first place which sheds
a badlight on schoolbus drivers. Whoever is without fault can cast the first stone . . .

Lena

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks and Libel and defamation.

Lena

Ok, apparently my previous comment was considered inappropriate.....
In any event, I agree with previous comments that this news article was inappropriate for the news.

CheesePizza

If i had to drive around a bus full of kids i would drink too!

Mamaof2

I do not see how this is even an issue. I agree with other people - what she did on her own time is her business.

rainbowjoe

I agree with the comments above. This would be appropriate front page news if the offense occurred while she was hauling a busload of kids, but it didn't, and it's curious why the ever-vigilant Tribune seems to be going after this lady. A Freedom of Information request to get her name and personnel file seems to be overkill in this case unless she is a chronic offender who endangered the community. And she wasn't fired; she was transferred to another position.

spartacus

I love all the people who question the newsworthiness of this article. Really? I would not want my kids in a vehicle with someone who makes bad decisions behind the wheel. Newsworthy?- Yes. There is a lot at stake here, and we have a right to know. Grand Haven Schools are amazing but they are not beyond reproach. Would we have even heard of this if it weren't for the Tribune? Again, as parents we have a right to know. As a bus driver what you do on your own time is certainly not your own business if it involves getting drunk and driving a vehicle. Wake up people.

spartacus

I love all the people who question the newsworthiness of this article. Really? I would not want my kids in a vehicle with someone who makes bad decisions behind the wheel. Newsworthy?- Yes. There is a lot at stake here, and we have a right to know. Grand Haven Schools are amazing but they are not beyond reproach. Would we have even heard of this if it weren't for the Tribune? Again, as parents we have a right to know. As a bus driver what you do on your own time is certainly not your own business if it involves getting drunk and driving a vehicle. Wake up people.

winston

here's a thought: the GHT is going after this woman and wrote this story because we all flock to the trib website to either read about it or comment. they, the GHT, keep track of the visitors and can share with advertisers how many visitors they have. you see, it's about the money. newspapers are dying and had to change course. news is everywhere, all the time. so, the GHT is no longer about the 'news' because you can get that elsewhere. they need either something tragic or juicy to drive revenue and just enough 'feel good' to keep a somewhat straight face when they talk about their work.

Magic Mike

I agree with you, spartacus. I have children in the school district and I do not want them to be on a bus with someone making irresponsible decisions. We all expect bus drivers to have a good driving record and be the best at transporting our children. Sadly, some of you seem to think otherwise.

DespisesUninformed

Magic and Spartacus:



While I would agree that I would not want my child on a bus with someone making irresponsible decisions, I believe it is clear Mr. Grimes and the GHAPS have taken proper steps to insure the safety of our children.

As soon as they became aware of the issue, the driver was suspended, pending the outcome of her trial. And then, she was remove from her position as soon as she was convicted. The GHAPS decisions were both swift and fare. What more would you expect them to do? I believe they did everything that was in their control to protect the health and welfare of our children.

And, while I can understand you wanting to know that our children are safe, airing 'personal laundry' in my opinion is unnecessary. The school reacted appropriately to something that occurred on personal time and the safety of our children was protected. End of story.

A FOIA request is not only unnecessary, it's absurd. If you look back on many of the articles published by the Tribune, it's clear to me that the mind set of the new Editor in Chief is far different than what we have been accustomed to over the past several years. We can only assume that his philosophy is that digging up and publishing smut, further ruining peoples lives, often far past the punishment that the system hands down, is simply the new MO for the local paper. It appears this 'new' philosophy must sell more newspapers and has now become the industry norm, at least here in the Tri-Cities.

LOCAL MOM

I have an elementary child who rides a Grand Haven bus to school every day. I was very disappointed to see the news article about the extremely poor decision this driver made. I’m glad it cost her job to be so irresponsible. Who is to say she wouldn’t have come to work to drive our innocent children with a hangover or still buzzing from the drinking?? I am very appreciative of the Tribune for taking action and informing us of the consequences this driver is receiving for her bad choice. I would like to see the Grand Haven schools monitoring their drivers’ driving habits and behavior a little more closely. I have had many complaints about the EXTREME braking my driver does with my elementary school child on board and the countless times she has passed my house with my child standing outside wondering why she forgot to pick them up. The reason my child waits outside for the bus every day is because I would be late for work if I brought them, but thanks to the bus driver I have had to be late on the days she just passes right on by without even realizing it. My child is outside every day unless I call the bus garage and report his absence. I have also had quite a few vehicles drive right on past the bus when the red lights are flashing while letting my child off the bus. I have had to take it upon myself to report those vehicles to 911 because the bus driver just watches them drive by and does nothing about it. I think the school needs to send surveys to parents of students who ride the bus looking for their opinions.

jjabrahms

well, for those of you complaining.. let me guess... you never speed.. never pass on the right... never roll thru a stop... what was it about throwing the first stone, hmmm? she did this on her own time, most likely on a friday or saturday night... so driving in the morning may not have been even a concern of hers.. she may have had one drink or fifteen.. is it really your business what she did or did not do on her own time... and if you think it is your business, maybe you should pay closer attention to your own children, versus everyone else around you!

GHAPSMother

Oh, come on! All of you people with your heads buried in the sand! This was the talk of the students and school and parents before the Tribune even wrote about it. I, for one, am very glad to know more facts about it. The rumors were much worse. I will be interested to see if anything else comes out of this when the newspaper gets the personal file of this lady. I wonder if there is more to it and the school district is trying to keep it quiet. I think the people complaining on here must be the bus driver, friends of the bus driver, or relatives of the bus driver, or union reps. The community does have a right to know, and I'm glad for my subscription to the Tribune. Thank you to the newspaper for bringing us the news we want to know.

spartacus

DespisesUninformed:
You're absolutely right! Grand Haven Schools took the right actions. We should all applaud them for doing the right thing. I don't think anyone on this board is blaming the schools for the bus driver's innaproppriate behavior. Having said that, there is no reason to keep this information a secret. The only one who aired their 'personal laundry' was the bus driver who chose to get behind the wheel of her car drunk. Bad decisions have consequences, even ones that might damage their reputation in the community.

Dozer

This add is just like the district court info they put in. who's business is it of anyone who did what, and how much they have to pay in fines and costs. Localmom, you are way off and obvisouly love gossip. The Tribune will find when they receive this driver's file that it it SPOTLESS!!! This driver would and never came to worked still "PUZZED". FYI lady, they drug test all the time at GHAPS for drivers, and she has worked there for alomost 7 years. This happened on personal "weekend" time. Like these people dont drink, and have never "drove when they shouldn't have". Most people just dont get caught. This driver has never had even 1 parking ticket on her liscense. Tribune should have checked that out. Get over it Grand Haven..move onto the the next victims.

zwesterhouse

You get what you pay for. Those jobs are junk jobs. A dime dozen with no benefits. Getting fired from the schools is not different than getting fired from McDonalds.

 

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