Public weighs in on recent arrests of Wayne Central School District employees

Posted at: 11/07/2013 11:04 PM
Updated at: 11/07/2013 11:44 PM
By: Scott Killbury

The arrests of two employees, one a teacher and the other a bus driver, just days apart was a hot button issue discussed at tonight's Wayne Central School Board meeting.

Thursday, parents brought their concerns to a regularly scheduled meeting of the board of education.

The Wayne County Sheriffs Office arrested April Roods Thursday, and charged her with DWI. The school district and police say Roods was removed from her first period class at Wayne Central High School, after someone claimed she appeared intoxicated.

Just last week, a bus driver for the district, Julynn Criscuolo was charged with driving while ability impaired. Deputies say Criscuolo was driving her personal car last Wednesday evening, when she crashed head on into another driver. Hours before that, the district says she was pulled off her bus and tested after the director of transportation suspected she was under the influence. After those tests, the district says another employee took Criscuolo home and police were called the next morning.

In a statement we brought you last night, the district says this situation has brought to their attention that policies and procedures need to be strengthened, especially with law enforcement notifications.

Thursday night, Board of Education president, Philip McTigue said, "Thankfully there was no motor vehicle incident when the children were being driven by her. Our response is that the board and administration will review and amend the policies so this type of delay will not happen again in the process."

McTigue admits changes need to be made in the current school district policy regarding disciplinary measures with staff and personnel.

A released statement from the board also read: officials handled the matter involving the school bus driver in accordance with district policy.

Ann Vandusen, a Wayne Central grandparent said, "If the accident wouldn't have happened to this poor woman, I don't think we would have never known. And, it's frustrating to me we deserve to know.”

The statement added that policies need to be strengthened more effectively, especially in the area of law enforcement notifications. Which may explain why police were called immediately, when Roods was suspected of DWI and pulled out of her first period English class.

Parents also received a phone call alerting them of the incident, but only just received letters sent home in student backpacks yesterday regarding last week's bus driver incident. Parents, like Ken Elliot are frustrated with the communication and wonder if there have been other incidents that went unreported as well.

"A huge amount of frustration in that case as well where police were informed of the teacher this morning but they were never informed about the bus driver being intoxicated," said Elliot.

We checked on Criscuolo's status with the Wayne County Jail tonight, and we were told she has been released on bail. Deputies say Roods was issued appearance tickets.

We will continue to keep track of both cases, and bring you any new developments.