Illinois bus driver caught on video drinking beer while driving dozens of elementary school students
AURORA, ILLINOIS: A school bus driver in Illinois was arrested and fired from her job after she was caught on video drinking two cans of beer while driving dozens of elementary school students.
44-year-old Michelle Passley had stopped at a gas station convenience store while she was doing her morning route on November 15. According to the Aurora Police Department, she then appeared to buy two cans of beer before she got back on the bus. The authorities also shared a video from the bus which showed Passley putting the cans into brown bags and drinking from them.
As per the footage, it was evident that there were at least 32 students on the bus when Passley was drinking the beers. Chief Kristen Ziman said at a news conference, "When we put our children on the school bus in the morning, the idea is that we have placed our kids in the safekeeping of someone who is going to take good care of them".
"It’s infuriating to believe that someone who is trusted with these children on a daily basis could potentially put them in this kind of danger," she continued. It was not known whether Passley had become intoxicated when she was driving the students.
Passley was caught red-handed when the convenience store clerk called the First Student Bus Company after selling Passley the beer and seeing her get on the school bus. The bus company then reached out to the police. Ziman added, "It evokes a very strong reaction in me … It’s absolutely brazen".
"But for that convenience store clerk that contacted the school district, we’d be none the wiser of this. So there are two very strong messages going out: That it’s not tolerated, and that we need the community’s involvement," she added. Passley was then charged with two counts of endangering the life/health of a child.
She was released on $100 bond and is due in court on December 27.