Chapel Hill Review

Chapel Hill Review

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Orange County Schools: Substitute bus driver was following protocol


By Angela Watson | Feb 3, 2020

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The Orange County School District is reviewing protocols after some students were dropped off at Cedar Ridge High School after hours and forced to wait outside the locked school.

Orange County Schools officials say the substitute bus driver who recently drove students back to school instead of home for being unruly was following district protocol. 

“The students, per district protocol, were taken back to Cedar Ridge High School as a disciplinary measure for some students being unruly on the bus,” said Jake Henry, chief operations officer for Orange County Schools. “We are working closely with this driver and they will be retrained in how to handle situations like this in the future.” 

Tia Ladegast, the mother of a 17-year-old on the bus, says her son told her an assistant principal was at the school when the students were dropped off at approximately 6 p.m. The administrator did not stay because she had to report to a district basketball game, Ladegast was told by her son. There were five students standing outside the locked building when Ladegast arrived, she said.

“You have three assistant principals at the school, you could’ve made a phone call and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be late. Can you get somebody else to go over there?’” Ladegast said. 

Someone from the district should have stayed with the students, Henry acknowledged. He said the district is reviewing the breakdown in communications and protocols to ensure this type of incident does not happen again. 

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