Stu­dents OK af­ter po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous bus route in­ci­dent

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - By John Mccaslin Rap­pa­han­nock News staff

Proper se­cu­rity pro­to­col was fol­lowed to a T by a Rap­pa­han­nock County Pub­lic Schools bus driver on Mon­day af­ter­noon when stu­dents rid­ing home from school sud­denly found them­selves in the mid­dle of a se­ri­ous do­mes­tic dis­pute.

“On Septem­ber 11, at ap­prox­i­mately 4:30 p.m., the school di­vi­sion no­ti­fied the sher­iff’s of­fice that a par­ent boarded Bus 15 swiftly when her child was ex­it­ing the bus at a reg­u­larly sched­uled stop,” read a joint state­ment from Rap­pa­han­nock County Sher­iff Con­nie Compton and Rap­pa­han­nock Schools Ad­min­is­tra­tor Shan­non Grim­s­ley.

“The woman re­ported that her sig­nif­i­cant other, who was in a parked car, in­tended to harm her and may have been armed. The bus driver im­me­di­ately closed the door, is­sued a call for the sher­iff’s de­part­ment, and drove away.

“The driver did not stop the bus un­til in­structed to do so by law en­force­ment who ar­rived on the scene within two min­utes of the call. At no

time was the bus fol­lowed or a weapon bran­dished at the scene and the su­per­in­ten­dent and sher­iff’s of­fice were in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Par­ents of stu­dents still on board were no­ti­fied that the bus was de­layed and would be re­leased shortly.”

The re­lease stated that one sus­pect was ap­pre­hended and charged with an un­spec­i­fied crime by the sher­iff’s of­fice. A stay away or­der against the sus­pect to pro­hibit [his] ap­pear­ing on any school prop­erty, in­clud­ing bus stops, was also be­ing is­sued by the sher­iff’s of­fice at the re­quest of the su­per­in­ten­dent. Ad­di­tion­ally, Bus 15 will no longer stop at the lo­ca­tion of the in­ci­dent.

The driver of Bus 15 is Jes­sica Wines, ac­cord­ing to the school sys­tem’s web­site, and her route in­cludes, among other stops, Huntly, Flint Hill, Fod­der­stack Road, and Mt. Salem Av­enue in Wash­ing­ton.

Grim­s­ley, who has been in her post for only two-anda-half months, first no­ti­fied par­ents of the in­ci­dent on Mon­day evening.

The schools su­per­in­ten­dent com­mended the sher­iff’s of­fice for its quick re­sponse and man­age­ment of the sit­u­a­tion that re­sulted in all stu­dents re­turn­ing safely home, as well as the ap­pre­hen­sion of the sus­pect.

Both the school sys­tem and the sher­iff’s of­fice are al­ready re­view­ing and learn­ing from the in­ci­dent.

“To­day, ad­min­is­tra­tion in part­ner­ship with the sher­iff’s of­fice, re­viewed bus safety pro­ce­dures, pro­vided ad­di­tional train­ing for bus driv­ers, and set up a new ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­col to in­crease re­sponse time,” the joint re­lease stated.

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