Police investigate Morris bus incident
BY BOB OKON firstname.lastname@example.org August 23, 2013 6:40PM
Updated: September 26, 2013 6:48AM
Morris police on Friday still were investigating what happened Tuesday when more than 20 elementary schoolchildren were dropped off in a neighborhood park rather than being taken to their homes.
The children, ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, lived in the neighborhood and got home safely. But school officials and the Grundy County State’s Attorney’s office have asked police to investigate the incident, Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said.
“You’ve got someone who’s encharged with the safety and well-being of the children, and events occurred there that put that into question,” Dite said.
The bus driver has been suspended from his job. The future of his employment will be determined by the Saratoga Community Consolidated School District 60C Board, which next meets on Sept. 16, Supt. Kathy Perry said.
Saratoga runs the bus system that is transporting students from that district as well as the Morris elementary and high school districts.
This is the first year for the new system, which combined bus runs for all three districts. Last year, the Morris elementary and high school districts had their own bus system, which was contracted to Illinois Central School Bus.
The combined bus system also implements double runs in both the morning and afternoon in order to transport students from all three schools.
“This is our first go at double runs,” Perry said.
The students left at Goodwill Park are from White Oak Elementary School, which is in Morris Elementary School District 54.
The incident happened on the first day of school, but the bus driver had worked the previous school year for Illinois Central School Bus. Perry said she believes the driver previously transported students from District 54.
There were other bus problems in the first week of school, but, Perry said, “We’re getting better every day.”