Incident Uncovers Failed Background Checks on School Bus Drivers

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eight bus drivers have been removed from their school district bus routes due to past drunk driving convictions.

Criminal background checks were prompted after one driver was recently charged with cocaine possession. The incident lead four Columbus Public Schools bus contractors to dig deeper into their drivers’ past.

Police found a syringe full of a substance identified as cocaine when they pulled over driver Lawrence H. Battle. Upon further check into his background, bus contractor First Student Inc. uncovered three prior driving under the influence (DUI) convictions. After learning it had failed to complete criminal background checks on its drivers, First Student grounded its fleet, leading to the district cancelling classes. The contractor soon discovered two more drivers with DUI convictions on their records.

Acting on the district’s request that they comply with contract provisions requiring removal of drivers with prior drug/alcohol convictions, three other district bus contractors have terminated five more drivers.

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