Knox County Schools terminate bus driver after fabricated story of man lurking at bus stops

Authorities discovered a bus driver fabricated a story about a white male lurking around school bus stops trying to engage children in conversation.
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Knox County Schools has terminated a bus driver after authorities discovered she fabricated a story about a man lurking around school bus stops.

According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, officials first reported the incident on March 24, asking for the public’s assistance in locating a man accused of trying to engage children in conversation on several occasions.

On March 26, Rebecca Long told WVLT News her 10-year-old son was standing at the bus stop in a Karns neighborhood when a man tried to lure him inside his car. She said the school gave her a call saying her son ran and alerted the bus driver.

KCSO officials said in a release after a complete investigation, detectives discovered the original complaint and statement provided by a Knox Co. bus driver was false.

“I appreciate the quick response from the public as well as the media. We all were under the impression there was a potential threat to children, and everyone acted quickly. I’m thankful to all the Deputies, Detectives and School Security personnel as well as the Knox County Schools Administration and staff for their hard work, and diligence throughout this process,” said Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler.

The bus driver has been identified as Belinda Roark and according to Knox County Schools, she was removed from the driver eligibility roster on April 8.

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