FROM STAFF REPORTS
Iredell-Statesville Schools officials are investigating after a bus driver drove through rising stormwater late Thursday morning, prompting criticism on social media from numerous individuals who watched a video of the incident.
I-SS schools were dismissed early as a result of inclement weather and due to the forecast for heavy rains and worsening conditions throughout the day.
According to a district news, I-SS school bus No. 312, which transports Troutman Elementary students, drove through standing water in Ridge Creek subdivision, which is located off Clontz Hill Road in Troutman.
Prior to leaving the elementary campus, school administrators assigned an additional adult monitor to ride each bus in an effort to more closely monitor weather and road conditions, according to the news release.
The bus entered into the neighborhood, which has only one way in and one way out, at 11:34 a.m. After dropping off students in the neighborhood and prior to exiting the neighborhood, there was a significant change to the water level on the roadway, according to I-SS.
The driver called the principal and asked for advice. The bus sat for several minutes as a decision was made about exiting the neighborhood. After discussion among three adults and watching multiple other vehicles drive through the area without incident, the driver was directed by her supervisor to exit the neighborhood, the district said.
The bus drove through the water at 11:51 a.m.
According the I-SS, bus drivers are trained to not drive through water unless it is an emergency. After completing a review of the situation, the district will determine further action.
Superintendent Brady Johnson reported that all students returned home safely on Thursday.
“Inclement weather calls are extremely difficult and complex,” Johnson said. “We do acknowledge that is very disruptive, but these decisions are made with the facts that we have at the moment, and with the best interest of the students in mind. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate these difficult decisions.