Dear Farmington Parents, Guardians and Families,
It is with great regret that I inform you of an issue that occurred this morning with one of M and J's bus drivers while transporting IAR students. A Farmington police officer, on his way to IAR to greet students, noticed that an IAR bus swerved slightly while driving. The officer followed the bus to the school. The Farmington Police Department acted swiftly and administered breath tests. The bus driver failed that test and was arrested. We are fortunate to have a strong collaboration with the Farmington Police Department as our police officers are highly visible across all schools.
As per our protocol, every child on the bus was brought to the nurse to be assessed for injuries or any other concerns. All students returned to class after a thorough assessment and parents were contacted. Please be assured that the safety of our students – your children – is our highest priority, and we take that responsibility very seriously. I have included a statement from the Farmington Police Department as well as the M and J Bus Company who employs this individual.
As stated, the safety of our students is our first and highest priority and although the issue was identified and addressed swiftly, we find this issue intolerable. We have been in communication with M and J and they will be conducting a thorough investigation in collaboration with the Farmington Police Department. In addition, Police Chief Melanson and I will be meeting with M and J officials today. This is the first incident of this nature that we have experienced with the M and J Bus Company; however, we hold this company to high expectations when it comes to the safety and security of our students.
Please know that we are in constant contact with the Farmington Police Department as well as the M and J Bus Company. We have been and we will continue to be clear with the bus company about our expectations. Please know our communication with this long-standing bus company in Farmington occurs on a daily basis.
I thank the Farmington Police Department for their ongoing partnership, visibility at each of our schools, diligence and swift action. I also want to extend my appreciation to Principal Donahue for his quick response to the situation and communication to the parents of students transported on the bus involved in this incident this morning.
Kathleen C. Greider
Superintendent of Schools