Parents Claim NC School Bus Driver Gave Students COVID Swab Tests

The school bus driver allegedly gave $5 to each middle school student who agreed to have their cheeks swabbed.

Parents Claim NC School Bus Driver Gave Students COVID Swab Tests
  • A Charlotte-Mecklenburg school bus driver allegedly paid $5 each to about 10 students riding his bus to have their cheeks swabbed for COVID-19
  • The tests weren’t approved by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, nor did the district know that the tests were being conducted
  • The bus driver involved in the case has been suspended

Charlotte, North Carolina – A Charlotte-Mecklenburg school bus driver is being investigated for allegedly paying the middle school students on his bus $5 each in exchange for swabbing their cheeks for COVID-19.

The driver, who has been suspended, reportedly took samples of about 10 children who attend Ridge Road Elementary School, reports WCNC. He also took their personal information. The tests were not authorized by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), reports WSOC-TV. Parents are outraged and have filed a police report.

The bizarre incident took place in mid-February.

Since the discovery of this incident, CMS is expanding its investigation to include all of the students on the bus driver’s route. Parents told WSOC-TV that CMS police pulled their children out of their classes to be interviewed about the situation.

A reporter from the news station said he met a man named Bernard who said he was paid $5 to get his cheek swabbed. The man also told the reporter that he was recruited by the National Institute of Molecular Diagnostics to set up an event to get others to get their cheeks swabbed. A different reporter from WSOC-TV spoke to another man, who was homeless, and was also offered $5 by an unidentified group to have his cheek swabbed.

It’s not clear if the cases involving Bernard or the other man are related to the CMS case.

WSOC-TV also reports that cheek swabbing is not an effective test for COVID-19.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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