The driver of a school bus in Indiana has been accused of allowing three students, the youngest age 11, to drive the bus with other children onboard.
On Thursday, 27-year-old Joandrea McAtee was charged with driving the bus to deliver children home after school. While making her stops she allegedly allowed three of the children on board to take control of the wheel for a period of time, and additionally reportedly provided instructions on how to properly operate the vehicle.
The students who were allegedly allowed to drive the bus, ages 11, 13, and 17, did so while other children were passengers. They reportedly took turns at the wheel while driving in a remote, rural area.
Boone Grove High School received reports from parents about the alleged incident on Thursday and they notified the Porter County Sheriff’s Department who began looking into the claims.
Footage that was said to have come from inside of the bus at the time that the students were driving was uploaded to social media sites showing a woman that the authorities believe was McAtee in one of the videos. In a second video, only a voice can be heard, but the authorities suspect that the voice was McAtee’s as well.
The school district released notification to the parents after they found out about what allegedly took place on the bus, and McAtee was terminated from her position.
McAtee went to her former place of employment on Friday to retrieve her final paycheck where she was met by the authorities and taken into custody. She is facing charges of felony neglect and was booked into the Porter County Jail.
If you or someone you love is suspected of neglect, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.