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Wayne schools probing bus driver histories

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. -

The Wayne County Public Schools are investigating the personal histories of all bus drivers, the system said Tuesday, after an NBC-17 investigation raised questions about some drivers.

"The investigation is still ongoing," the system said in a statement Tuesday. "WCPS is currently investigating all of the personal histories of its drivers, as well as looking into the crimes and backgrounds of individuals identified by NBC-17.

"This is a process that can not be rushed. As shared last night, once the district's investigation is complete, we will certainly share our findings."

An investigation by NBC-17, which aired Monday at 11 p.m., found that some bus drivers in a local school system have criminal backgrounds.

Through a Freedom of Information Act, NBC-17 obtained a list of all Wayne County bus drivers. NBC-17 used public information from the Department of Public Safety and multiple county sheriff's offices to confirm to obtain and confirm convictions.

The investigation found drivers linked to criminal pasts including convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and forgery. 

NBC-17 took this information to Marvin McCoy, Wayne County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.

"We don't want hardened criminals, of course, driving our children," McCoy said in Monday's report.

McCoy told NBC-17 the Wayne County School System uses a private company, Background Investigation Bureau in Charlotte to conduct background checks for the department.

"They do a very extensive job," McCoy said about the company. "There's no 100 percent fail-proof program for anything."

NBC-17 presented McCoy with examples of drivers who according to public information have criminal and felony convictions but were still hired by the school district.

"I can't answer how you got yours and how come something didn't show up on ours," McCoy said. "We rely on our background investigation organization to do those things for us."

McCoy says the district will launch its own investigation into who is really driving their buses and to determine if there is a crack in the system for conducting background checks.

"Your finding out this information creates a heightened sense of awareness for us to check,  because it goes beyond just the bus drivers," McCoy said. "It goes into every staff member hired by Wayne County Public Schools."

 

 

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