A school bus driver who has been charged with drunk driving has been placed on unpaid administrative leave while police investigate the matter.
Police said 27-year-old Ayla Johnson had made runs for both Lincoln High School and Lincoln Middle School before arriving at Northern Elementary School. Teachers said they stopped Johnson and called the police when they saw her stumbling off the bus.
Police say she smelled strongly of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test.
"I’m in shock that somebody who I’ve never had an issue with, that this would happen," said parent Nicole St. George. "And concern because my daughter does take the bus with her every morning and I’m hoping this is an isolated incident."
Alyse Soares’ 9-year-old son Owen rides on Johnson’s bus every day, and Soares said she didn’t notice anything different about Johnson the day of the arrest.
"She’s always so pleasant, always so nice," said Soares. "Hi, how are you, she asks. You know, small conversation. It’s just not something that I was ever expecting."
Police said Johnson is employed by First Student Transportation, who is contracted by the Lincoln School District. In a statement, Lincoln Superintendent Georgia Fortunato said Johnson has been permanently banned from driving for Lincoln Public Schools.
This is not the first time an incident like this has happened in Lincoln. In February 2014, Lincoln Middle School teacher Christine Clarke was accused of drunk driving after police said she struck a mailbox on her way home from school.
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