Joandrea Dehaven McAtee, a 27-year-old bus driver, was arrested on September 21st after video footage surfaced of her and various students on the bus.
The former Indiana bus driver was driving her normal school bus route, which usually includes various middle school and high school aged students. When the children arrived at school, several high schoolers from Boone Grove High told a school resource officer what had transpired that morning, and they even had video evidence on their cell phones to back up their claims. The students reported that the bus driver recklessly allowed at least three different students to take turns driving the bus while the other students were on board.
The school resource officer contacted police who reviewed the video evidence. McAtee can be seen letting an 11-year-old, 13-year-old and 17-year-old take the wheel of the bus and steer it down the streets. Audio of the incident revealed that the bus driver had to instruct the young children where the breaks were and how to use them. She could also be heard reassuring nervous students on the bus, “It’s all good. It’s all good.” Thankfully, no one was injured during the incident, but police made an arrest in an abundance of caution for the students.
McAtee has been charged with felony neglect of a dependent. She could be heard on the cell phone footage stating, “Don’t you tell no other adults,” so it’s clear that McAtee knew she could get into trouble for allowing the unexperienced students to drive.
First Student, the company that operates the school buses in the area, immediately fired the suspect after learning about the incident. A spokesperson for the company told reporters the business was “incredibly disappointed” in the actions of their former employee.