BPS to implement new policy regarding school van transportation
Superintendent suspends two BPS employees following allegations of misconduct
BOSTON – Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol R. Johnson took immediate action to develop new policies regarding vans used for the transportation of students Feb. 1. In reviewing allegations of misconduct, the superintendent learned late yesterday that two BPS employees had incurred driving violations that could have put students at risk. The employees are not BPS bus drivers and did not undergo the same rigorous screenings as the city’s school bus drivers.
The employees are paraprofessionals, or teacher aides, at one school who had the occasional responsibility of responding to the unique transportation needs of students by transporting them in school-leased vans.
Thursday, it was brought to Dr. Johnson’s attention that the employees may have driven students without the proper licenses. It was also brought to her attention that one of the employees had taken a school van without permission over a weekend in November and had been arrested early on a Sunday morning for driving under the influence of alcohol.
“I’m outraged that these employees would violate the trust we have in them, and we will take all appropriate steps to ensure they are disciplined to the fullest extent,” said Superintendent Johnson. “Fortunately, no students were harmed in any way, but these allegations are serious and require a thorough investigation.”
The superintendent has instructed the BPS transportation department to immediately assume responsibility for all transportation needs, including the students who had been serviced using these vans.
The Superintendent learned for the first time Thursday that one of the employees had been previously arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. As a result, she has instructed BPS human resources staff to quickly investigate why the prior arrests were not brought immediately to her attention.
The Boston Public Schools, the birthplace of public education in the United States, serves nearly 57,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 128 schools.