Local News

Johnston Officials Investigate Complaint Against School Bus Driver

Posted February 25, 2003 8:24 a.m. EST

— A Johnston County school bus driver has been suspended with pay as the sheriff's office and school officials investigate a complaint filed by two parents.

The parents claim bus driver Wanda Forest used poor judgment and put their children's lives at risk when they said the children were told to jump from the school bus while it was still moving Friday afternoon.

Scarlette O'Neal said her 5-year-old daughter, a kindergartener at Corinth Holders School, and several other children were on bus 312 when the bus started having problems.

Parents said the bus driver told some children to walk the rest of the way home -- about a mile.

"I mean ever since she was born she's been drilled -- don't go near the road," O'Neal said.

Parents said the driver made some children jump from the bus while it was still moving. They said the Forest did not want to stop because she was afraid the bus would stall and break down completely.

"My first reaction was I was terrified, you know, thinking about what could have happened," said O'Neal.

Forest has been driving for the school system since 1995. The transportation director for Johnston County Schools said he plans to talk with her Tuesday and will investigate the incident.