Wayland Bus Supervisor Contract In Question Following FOX 17 Investigation

Posted at 10:41 PM, Mar 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-01 13:32:12-04

WAYLAND, Mich. — (March 27, 2014) New developments following a FOX 17 investigation into an assault on a Wayland public school bus.

The alleged attack on a second-grader by other children occurred about two weeks ago.

Special meeting Thursday

Since then, other parents have come forward, expressing their concerns with Transportation Supervisor Jeff Schilthroat.

Now his job may be on the line.

The Wayland School Board held a special session Thursday evening in order to start discussions on whether or not the contract should be renewed for Schilthroat.

He was the person who took the first complaint regarding that assault, which prompted the school board to take another look at his performance on the job.

“The way that things are gone about needs to change,” said Amanda Reed, concerned mom.

She is one of the parents carefully watching what the Wayland School Board will do in the coming weeks.

She said her son was bullied on the bus, feeling her complaints fell on deaf ears when she tried to alert Schilthroat.

“I would be very disappointed to see the contract renewed,” said Reed.

The board members began taking a closer look at Schilthroat after Wayland mom Amber Canfield, came to FOX 17 looking for answers regarding that bus assault on her 9-year-old son.

Transportation Supervisor Jeff Schilthroat

“He was bawling, he told me that five boys jumped him on the bus,” said Canfield.

She said at first, Schilthroat didn’t show her the entire video of that assault, stopping it before they could see the bus driver’s reaction.

Canfield said the bus driver yelled at their son and moved him back near his attackers.

The worried mom also told FOX 17 that a police officer from Wayland who was investigating the assault told her that Schilthroat told him there was no reason to continue the investigation.

She said she and her husband, Jeremiah Wonnacott, felt the opposite.

The boy’s dad, Jeremiah, described how he felt, “Very upset, angry, and other things I’d rather not say.”

Board Members approved the resolution to look at non-renewal of the contract unanimously.

It’s a process the superintendent said they must go with whether the contract is renewed or not.

“Still meeting with parents. Still collecting information, documenting things, making sure everybody gets their due process and this is done responsibly,” said Norman Taylor, Wayland Public Schools Superintendent.

Bruise on 9-year-old Wayland boy

Meanwhile, a group showed up to support Schilthroat at the meeting.

One of  his employees spoke during public comment, asking the board to spare his job.

He’s always been the last one to think about himself,” said John Hyke, a maintenance employee. “People make mistakes. I mean, there’s not one of anybody here that has never made a mistake. Let’s not make another one by letting him go.”

“You talk to 95% of people in this district, I don’t think one of them will tell you anything negative about him,” said Hyke.

The board’s next step will be to hold a hearing to further look at his job performance and complaints.