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School bus drivers punished after ‘kissing, fondling’ in front of kids

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 @ 5:53 PM
By: Jeremy P. Kelley - Staff Writer

Two Kettering City Schools bus drivers were disciplined for repeatedly “kissing and fondling” each other on one driver’s bus while students were boarding the bus and sitting nearby, according to documents in their personnel files.

Janine Susan Wilson and Steven M. Rector were both on paid administrative leave from Nov. 1-24, and have now been placed on unpaid suspension this week (Nov. 27 to Dec. 1) “as a result of a disciplinary hearing,”according to the school district.

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“These are both long-term employees who have been good employees,” Kettering City Schools business manager Ken Lackey said. “They made a mistake and we’re dealing with the mistake. They’ll continue to be our employees and we’ll move on from here.”

The pre-disciplinary hearing notice says the district received a complaint from a student on Oct. 30 that the bus drivers had been engaging in inappropriate conduct on Wilson’s bus for about two weeks.

The notice says Kettering school officials reviewed bus videos from three different afternoons, which revealed evidence of the drivers “engaged in physical touching, hugging, kissing and fondling activities on (Wilson’s) bus with students boarding and sitting in close proximity to you.”

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“One student even told you that he did not approve of your behavior,” the notice to Wilson reads. “This activity occurred at a time when you were responsible for supervising the students who were boarding your bus.”

Rector’s notice also says he should have been supervising students who were boarding his bus at Kettering Middle School at the time.

Rector has been a bus driver for Kettering schools since 1998. His last evaluation, in 2009, rated him satisfactory and called him “a solid, reliable employee and a pleasure to work with.” His personal file shows only one other reprimand for failing to show up without notice on one day in 2012.

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Wilson was last evaluated in 2013, according to her personnel file. That evaluation rated her as a “very good” driver, the second-highest level on the five-step scale. It said she had outstanding attendance and a good attitude toward her job.

Lackey said the school district would like to do evaluations on drivers every other year, but don’t always accomplish that.