Indiana Woman Arrested For Allegedly Letting Children 17 And Under Drive The Bus

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

An Indiana woman was arrested Friday for letting three children 17 and under drive a school bus on Thursday.

Joandrea Dehaven McAtee, 27, was charged with felony neglect of a dependent after letting an 11-year-old, 13-year-old and 17-year-old drive the bus for short distances in Valparaiso, Indiana, on Thursday, ABC News reported Sunday.

McAtee was identified by authorities in a video taken by a student, going by the name of Casey on Twitter.

“First, what you gotta do, is put your foot on the brake,” McAtee is heard saying in the video posted Friday.

First Student, a school transportation solutions provider that runs buses in Porter Township, fired McAtee after the allegations and video appeared.

“Upon receiving information regarding this incident, [Porter Township School Corporation (PTSC)] administration, First Student (our bus service provider), and the Porter County Sheriff’s Department immediately began an investigation,” PTSC said in a statement, ABC reported. “The investigation quickly substantiated the allegations and the driver was relieved of all duties involving Porter Township School Corporation. The Porter Township School Corporation is angered and disappointed in the actions of this driver.” (RELATED: Indiana VA Doctor Says She Was Fired After Flagging Opioid Overprescriptions)

First Student is a school transportation solutions provider that operates in 39 states and has 50,500 employees, according to the organization’s website.

An individual who has the voluntary or legal obligation to care for a dependent can be charged with neglect if the individual puts the dependent in a dangerous situation that can affect their life or health, according to Indiana law.

McAtee was previously arrested for driving 54 mph in a 35 mph zone in New Chicago, Indiana, in February 2017, ABC reported. She paid a fine after it was determined she was guilty.

PTSC and First Student did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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