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MMU defends hiring bus driver with criminal record - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

MMU defends hiring bus driver with criminal record

Jericho, Vermont - January 26, 2010

A scary bus ride ended safely for students from Mount Mansfield Union High School. Police say the driver, Shane McBrayer, 30, was driving drunk.

It happened Saturday night. The school's hockey team was headed home from a game in Woodstock when the bus driver started driving erratically. According to a person on the bus who didn't want to be identified, MMU coaches asked McBrayer to pull the bus over after he started driving erratically, swerving into other lanes of traffic.

"We're very pleased with the way the coaches responded," Chittenden East Superintendent Jim Massingham said.

And this wasn't McBrayer's first brush with the law. According to the Corrections department, McBrayer has two robbery-related charges in the state of Georgia. School officials admit they knew about the charges, but hired him anyway.

"We get no detail, all we get is that there has been a conviction," Massingham explained. "The reference checks made it seem like this would be a very good employee despite a record."

McBrayer has been placed on paid leave pending the investigation.

While Massingham says the incident is alarming, he argues the district's hiring system typically works and he calls this incident an anomaly.

"There are lots of folks with jobs in school districts that 20, 30, 40 years ago have a minor flaw in their record, so we deal with this occasionally," he said.

Massingham also says the district doesn't contract out its bus service like many other districts do because school officials feel they have more control over the hiring process and can better prevents incidents like this from happening.

McBrayer is set to be arraigned in February.

Keagan Harsha - WCAX News

Related Story:

Bus driver accused of being drunk

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