Bus driver fired

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:08 PM

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.

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