FOX 17 Investigation: Transportation Supervisor Resigns, Bus Driver Let Go

Posted at 6:11 PM, Apr 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-25 18:50:58-04

WAYLAND, Mich. — (April 25, 2014) FOX 17 first began investigating a bus assault at Wayland Union Schools in March.

Now the transportation supervisor there is resigning.

The superintendent announced the resignation Friday along with a statement saying that the bus driver who was on the bus the day of the assault was also let go.

“There’s been plenty of instances that I’ve had with my children,” said Tiffany Chichester, concerned parent. “Her just not addressing situations on the bus along with Jeff as well.”

Parents originally came to us frustrated because they felt that their complaints surrounding bus driver Malissa Westfahl were being ignored by Transportation Supervisor Jeff Schilthroat.

Amber Canfield said her child was assaulted on a school bus March, 11.  However, Schilthroat didn’t show them the entire video when they went to review security footage.

Schilthroat admitted during an interview with administrators that he stopped the recording because he didn’t want the parents to see Westfahl’s reaction to the child that was assaulted.

JS –“ They didn’t need to see her (MW) being unsympathetic to their son. It was an embarrassment to the school and the department,” said Schilthroat.

“I cannot believe that someone would keep that from me. That’s my child. I wanted answers. If he would have given me those answers, he wouldn’t be in the seat he’s in right now,” said Amber Canfield, concerned parent.

However, Superintendent Norm Taylor issued this statement:

“There were allegations of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviors by two employees within our transportation department and the way students were behaving on the bus also became a concern,” said Taylor.

“During the course of our investigation we accepted the resignation of the Transportation and Maintenance Supervisor.  He is no longer employed by our District as of April 11, 2014.”

“The board and I agreed with the supervisor that at this point, new leadership is needed within the transportation department.”

“At Wayland Union Schools, students and their families expect a positive and safe atmosphere, be it on the bus or in the classroom.  To that end, the bus driver that was also involved in the concern has been released from employment.”

“In the beginning, there was no intention of having Jeff lose his job or Mrs. Westfahl,” said Chichester.  “It was to bring attention and awareness to parents in the Wayland School District. That way other parents would maybe question their children and find out what’s going on on their buses.”

The school said the investigation and response is not yet complete and changes are ahead.

“We can’t always be there for our children when they are out of our sight. We would hope other adults would take the initiative to control the situation, and handle it properly,” said Canfield.

The superintendent said some of the changes that will be implemented include the formation of a committee to examine bus practices and procedures.