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Report: Northern Westchester School Bus Driver Failed Drug Test

A Lakeland bus driver failed a drug test after driving kids to school, according to a report.
A Lakeland bus driver failed a drug test after driving kids to school, according to a report. Photo Credit: File

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. -- The Lakeland Central School District has declined to confirm or deny a report a bus driver failed a random drug test after driving students to school.

According to The Northern Westchester Examiner , a female driver, who had worked for the district since 2007, failed a drug test and was suspended.

"The District’s No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our students and staff," Superintendent George Stone said in a statement. "All district bus drivers are subject to background checks and fingerprint clearance at the time of hire, as required by the State of New York. In addition to pre-employment screening, random drug and alcohol tests are administered, unannounced, throughout the school year for every school bus driver.

"While the district does not discuss the results of any random drug and alcohol test of its bus drivers, when a driver fails a random drug or alcohol test that driver is removed from service in accordance with applicable law, regulation and collectively negotiated agreements."

The Examiner report also claimed bus drivers have been notified ahead of time about drug tests and that drivers have gone five years without being tested, which the district denied.

The district said the driver was tested on April 25 via a urine test. When a driver is being tested, the supervisor gives the list to the dispatcher on duty who calls in those who are being tested.

The drivers park the vehicles, come down to the building and go to the back where the test is conducted. They must have a photo ID with them and sShould a driver refuse a test or not report to the supervisor after their morning run, they are immediately taken out of service, the district said.

"The district has absolutely no control over who, when or how often an individual is tested,"  Stone said. "We are not aware of any circumstance in which a driver was not tested for five years."

Lakeland tests 50 percent of its drivers each year, the district said.

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