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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

06/09/14 NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES V. R.R. A-2605-12T4


06/09/14 NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES V.
R.R.
A-2605-12T4
       Appellant was a school bus driver. At the end of her route she did not visually inspect the bus to make sure there were no children left on board, as required by N.J.S.A. 18A:39-28. Instead, she had relied upon a school bus aide's representation there were not any children on the bus, even though in the past the driver had found the aide to be unreliable. In fact, a five-year old was left on board after the bus driver left for the day. The child was not discovered for fifty-five minutes.
       We affirmed the finding of the Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Performance Management and Accountability of the Department of Children and Families that the bus driver had engaged in willful and wanton conduct in violation of N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b), for relying upon an undependable aide's representation and not personally inspecting the bus herself to determine if any children remained on board.