A First Student bus driver in New England was arrested and released on bail prior to Thanksgiving after he allegedly solicited one of his teenage riders for sex. But the case seems far from cut and dry.
WCVBTV5 in Boston reported this week that the local First Student operation immediately suspended Quentin E. McKenney, 60, after Portsmourth, N.H., police arrested him last week for asking a middle school student for sex. McKenney was released on $25,000 personal recognizance bail and was ordered to stay away from children and 300 feet away from any playground. The investigation by both police and First Student was ongoing, but First Student representatives did say that McKenney passed both criminal and driving background checks.
What adds a wrinkle to the case was a statement made by police investigators to the Union Leader newspaper that the 13-year-old girl had called the bus drier at least 10 times on her call phone before the alleged Nov. 5 incident on the school bus. This statement had the Web site comment board buzzing.
While police continued to question other children on McKenney’s bus, it does beg the question of why the young girl was calling her bus driver in the first place. Not to make any excuse for a 60-year-old man making sexual advances towards a minor, and one must question why the girl had McKenney’s phone number in the first place, but one might wonder if school districts have considered the possible liability of such advances from a student to an adult employee.
Common sense and common decency say that, if the student was the one to pursue a relationship, the driver should have immediately reported it to a supervisor and ceased all contact with the girl. But, apparently he did not. Still, should schools have a policy for drivers to follow should a student call them on the phone or attempt to engage them in anyway outside of their normal work duties?
If they don’t have said policy, should they?