1/7/2013 5:20 PM
by Heidi Moore
Parents like to think that their children are safe from the moment they get on the school bus until the moment they get off, but how can parents be sure the people responsible of getting them to and from school are trustworthy?
The recent arrest of Fayette County bus driver Steven Malay on 3rd degree sexual assault charges has left some parents wondering how they can trust those responsible for their children when they are not around. Fayette County schools say they have an extensive hiring process for its bus drivers to ensure the right people are hired.
"We bring them in for an interview and we talk to them about their background, direction, why they want to be a bus driver then we begin the process by checking their references." Said Director of Transportation for Fayette County Schools Gary Hough.
If the references check out the next step is to make sure potential drivers have no criminal history.
"All of our drivers have to go through a federal or state background check to check their background. They have to have a DMV record check and that DMV record check is done when they're hired, but its also done yearly." Hough said.
The state is in charge of checking background checks and they do not look for any specific crime.
"We look at everything, because anything that's on there is enough to alarm us." Hough said.
If the applicant has a clean record it is time for their training to begin.
"They go through 40 hours of training, in class training. They have to pass a written test and then they have a skills test. Before they pass that skills test they have 12 hours of behind the wheel training with a trainer." Hough told NewsWatch.
The process is so extensive that it could be some time before they make it in front of the bus and behind the wheel.
"Usually its about three months. It used to be as long as 6 months. Its down to about 3 to 4 months now because everything has become computerized." Hough said.
The process is constantly being improved as technology becomes more advanced and Fayette County Schools feel they look at the right things while they hire.