School District 20 bus driver ducks charges over taping incident

No criminal charges against a School District 20 bus driver who allegedly applied duct tape to the mouths and wrists of passengers.

Criminal charges will not be pursued against a School District 20 bus driver who allegedly canvassed Castlegar students to play a “be quiet game” and then preceded to apply duct tape to the mouths and wrists of volunteers.

What the driver thought to be a fun game for the journey home Oct. 26, was not seen in the same light by police, the school district, nor the parents who found their child returning home from school bound with duct tape.

“Even if it was meant to be a joke, it was unacceptable,” said Greg Luterbach, superintendent of schools. “We don’t think it’s appropriate and therefore that’s why we’ve dealt with it.”

Luterbach couldn’t provide details on the specific action taken in this “confidential personnel matter.”

But complainants were satisfied enough by the district’s response and the investigation conducted by the police, that no criminal charges were pressed, according to Cpl. Deb Postnikoff of the Castlegar RCMP.

An investigation revealed that there was no harm done to the elementary kids who participated.

The police conducted interviews with parents and several children.

The school district constantly does professional training sessions for its staff, holding the most recent for bus drivers this fall.

“We understand our bus drivers are really important. They’re the first people to see our kids in the morning and they’re the last people to see our kids at the end of the day,” said Luterbach. “We try to help our bus drivers and give them strategy and techniques to keep the bus safe, to keep the students safe but to also to keep things positive.”