Lax Background Checks Land School Bus Company in the News Again
February 22, 2010
First Student Bus Company is in the news again. This time a company driver has been charged with battery for inappropriately touching a 14 year old girl and then offering her $3 not to tell. This is now the fifth incident the company has faced within the last year. According to the Chicago Sun Times, “Oviedo [the aforementioned driver] is one of five First Student drivers to get in trouble with the law last year. One was arrested for exposing himself to a girl. Another was caught with child porn. A driver was shot and killed by police in Riverdale after a high speed chase.
And First Student bus driver Brian Skoglund was arrested for child endangerment and DUI after losing control of his bus on the Edens Expressway. Skoglund had been hired despite getting fired from a Skokie job. He’d been caught driving a Village vehicle erratically and failing a drug test.”
We wrote about the Skoglund incident when it happened last Fall when a First Student spokesperson said that the company conducted “Fantastic Background Checks”. Now, it appears those practices will be called into question because they are being sued in civil court.
To be fair, we don’t know if this driver had prior records, however we do know that there were missed warning signs with the earlier drivers that would have been revealed by conducting a proper employment background check. At some point, the schools that contract this work to these companies are going to have to answer as well. In the meantime, we as parents will have to hold our breath that this doesn’t happen to our kids.