Three women believed to be drunk got on a Texas public school bus at a regular stop and rode with the students all the way to their middle school last Friday. No one, not even the bus driver, realized that three allegedly heavily intoxicated 20-something women were on the bus until they arrived at Harris Middle School in San Antonio.
“Clearly, the bus driver wasn’t paying attention to who was walking down the row of seats,” said Aubrey Chancellor, a North East Independent School District (ISD) spokeswoman. She highlighted that district bus drivers receive extensive training which includes awareness training and making eye contact while greeting each student who enters the bus.
“In this case the bus driver did not do that,” Chancellor added. As a result of the incident, the veteran driver employed with North East ISD for 10 years was fired on Wednesday. The driver’s name was not released.
Survelliance video captured the incident in which the women entered the bus and road all the way to the middle school. Footage showed two of the women walked to the back of the bus and sat down. The third woman parked herself next to a boy and appeared to chat it up with him during the 30 minute bus ride.
The security film revealed that some students did not even notice the purportedly tanked threesome were even on the bus. It showed two of them exiting at the middle school. The driver finally caught on and asked the third woman for her identification.
School administrators detained the three women after the bus arrived. District spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor told the San Antonio Express-News that the allegedly intoxicated ladies were in their early 20’s.
District officials asked the three why they boarded the bus. Chancellor said that they were unable to get a clear response because the women were too inebriated. She stated that even though it was the beginning of the school year, which brings new faces to the bus route, “this was a huge mistake.”
Stunned Harris Middle School parent Vicki Holden told KENS-5 (ABC), “My head is spinning still.” Her son got on the bus at the same stop as the sloshed trio. Holden asked, “How does that happen? How do three grown, drunk women get on the bus?”
The women approached the students at the bus stop prior to the bus arriving, and got on board when the bus pulled up, according to Holden, who also believed that the San Antonio police should have been involved, Fox 29 San Antonio reported. Only the middle school’s resource officers handled the case. They did not arrest the women.
District officials issued criminal trespass warnings to the three women after the investigation revealed the women were able to ride on the bus with the students to the middle school. One of the three faces an assault charge after school police determined that she grabbed a student’s arm before boarding the bus. However, she was not yet formally charged, said the district. The second woman was cited for possession of alcohol on school property.
Harris Middle School principal Sean Maika notified parents of the bus riding youth about the incident, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Parent Holden pondered if the district would have handled the matter differently had three drunken men boarded the bus and behaved similarly, according to Fox 29. She wanted administrators to issue a school-wide letter but that did not happen. Chancellor described the incident as “really isolated” involving 18 students.
“We’re not going to send a letter out to the entire community, but we are definitely going to let those parents know exactly what happened.” Chancellor stated, “Most of them were thankful for the call and the transparency.”
All three woman were banned from the campus.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.