A Porter Township
Schools bus driver has been charged with neglect of a dependent after the
Porter County Sheriff’s Police said that she allowed several children to
drive her bus.
police, on Thursday, Sept. 20, a parent contacted the Boone Grove High
School’s school resource officer, a PCSP deputy, to report that the bus
driver was permitting students to operate her assigned bus.
subsequently determined that, at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday, the bus
driver--identified as Jonandrea McAtee, 27, of Portage--“allowed three
students” to operate her bus as she was dropping off kids after school.
“The three students
took turns driving a short distance each down Lourdes Street in rural
Valparaiso,” police said. “Other students on the bus witnessed the students
The ages of the
three students, police said: 17, 13, and 11.
At 11:15 a.m.
Friday, PCSP deputies took McAtee into custody at the Porter Township Bus
Barn, after she had arrived there “to collect her final check,” police said.
transported to Porter County Jail on a charge of neglect of a dependent, a
Level 6 felony punishable by a term of six to 30 months.
“The students and
parents who immediately came forward with this information should be
commended for doing exactly what we teach, which is See Something, Say
Something,” Sheriff Dave Reynolds said. “An investigation was immediately
started and no one was injured or harmed. The Sheriff’s Office and the
Porter Township School Corporation take the safety and security of every
student seriously and every parent must understand that this case will be
“This is still
considered an ongoing investigation,” police added.