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Video of sleepy bus driver leads to three CMS firings

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus driver and two of her supervisors have been fired after WSOC aired a student video that appears to show the driver nodding off at the wheel.

Parents sent the video of driver Diesha Clay to the TV station after complaints to CMS got no response, Scott Wickersham reported in December. The video, shot from an angle behind the driver, shows her eyes appearing to close and her head bobbing.

Clay, transportation specialist Eric Jaeger and Brad Johnson, operations director for the east transportation zone, were dismissed after a CMS investigation into that incident, spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte said Monday. Jaeger and Johnson supervised Clay, who has been a CMS driver since 2006, Stalberte said.

“Although the district has strict protocols in place to promptly respond to safety concerns, we acknowledge that there was some delay in this situation,” CMS said in a statement responding to the televised report.

Stalberte said Monday she can’t comment on the investigation because it is a confidential personnel matter. But she said CMS has “encouraged our transportation supervisors to follow existing protocols addressing complaints and concerns.”

The video was shot on Bus 1304 while Clay was driving Randolph Middle School students to an afternoon “shuttle stop” drop-off at Lake Wylie Elementary School, Stalberte said.

Anyone trying to report bus-safety issues should contact the child’s school or call the CMS transportation department at 980-343-6715, according to the CMS statement.

Helms: 704-358-5033; Twitter: @anndosshelms
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