St. Mary

Sep 20, 2012 7:24 PM by Maddie Garrett

Student Captures Bus Driver Allegedly Texting While Driving School Bus

It's an image that has many parents outraged - a school bus driver caught texting while driving a bus full of children. A student in St. Mary Parish took a picture of the bus driver allegedly texting while driving the bus Tuesday morning. The parent called the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office and showed deputies the picture. The bus driver, Randy Paul, is now facing misdemeanor charges of texting while driving.

"I think it was reported that the bus may have been crossing the center line while the texting was going on. And again, when you divert your eyes from the road, you divert your attention away from what you should be doing," said Sheriff Mark Hebert.

Hebert confirmed that the picture is in fact Paul, a part time bus driver in St. Mary Parish. According to the parent, who declined an on-camera interview, Paul has been filling in for another driver on bus number 32 since the beginning of the school year.

Hebert said a deputy interviewed several students that were on the bus at the time and eventually interviewed Paul. Paul is summoned to appear in court for the charges on December 12th. But Hebert said it doesn't matter if a driver is operating their own vehicle or a school bus, the texting while driving charges are the same. Still, Hebert said this incident troubled him.

"If you're driving a vehicle and you're in control of more than one life other than your own, I mean the potential there.. it's there. So we stress everyone to be real careful," said Hebert.

While the School Board and Superintendent Donald Aguillard did not return KATC's requests for comment on Thursday, Aguillard is quoted in the Morgan City Daily Review saying there is an investigation into Paul and he could be fired for his actions.

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