Mercer Co. school bus driver must wait to learn his fate - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Mercer Co. school bus driver must wait to learn his fate

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PRINCETON, W. Va (WVVA)-- A Mercer County school bus driver's fate is still unknown after a disciplinary hearing before the Board of Education in Princeton Tuesday night.

Administrators say William Cheeks quit his job on the spot at Princeton Middle School, with a bus-load of students ready to go home for the day.

Superintendent Deborah Akers told the board she thought he abandoned his job and should be disciplined for willful neglect of duty and insubordination.

Witnesses confirmed that Cheeks called over a school official to explain himself, then secured a substitute driver before leaving the school.

Afterward, Cheeks asked for another chance.

At the hearing, he explained that he had problems with a student and felt his emotions getting out of control.

"I quit so I could remove myself from that situation and return that bus to a safe place for the children," he said. "I did not get aggressive, but I feared if it continued, I might."

He argued he left because he could not safely drive the kids at the time.

But Superintendent Akers was not immediately convinced he should keep his job.

"Transporting youngsters, we have to have employees that we can depend on getting them from one place to another," she said, "and being able to handle themselves."

During executive session, the board determined Superintendent Akers would talk with Cheeks to discuss their options sometime within the next few weeks.

Akers neither withdrew nor acted upon her current recommendation to suspend or terminate his employment.

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