Parents Want Answers After Bus Driver Bribed Kids For Saliva Samples Claiming It Was For COVID Tests

The driver paid students to swab their mouths.

School bus David Prahl / Shutterstock

A Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools bus driver in North Carolina is under investigation for an incident that occurred inside of her school bus on school grounds at Ridge Road Middle School.

Parents of the students who take the same school bus every day are furious and are demanding answers for the breach of trust that was committed by the bus driver.

The CMS bus driver allegedly paid students to take swabs of their mouths claiming they were for COVID tests.

Without parental permission, parents claim that the bus driver had taken approximately 10 cotton swab samples from students on board her school bus.


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“It was a red flag, and it happened on the bus, on the school grounds," CMS parent Dawn Thompson said.

“As a minor, she was taken advantage of and she shouldn’t have done anything to my child without parental consent," said Mone Davis, another parent.

Thompson and Davis are shocked and appalled after finding out from their daughters, 8th grader De-jsani Green and 6th grader Dynasti Davis, that their bus driver pressed them to swab the inside of their mouths.

These parents send their children off to school every single day with the same bus driver, trusting them to get their kids to and from school safely without letting anything happen to them.


The bus driver paid each child $5 for the saliva sample.

Thompson’s daughter told her that she was given $5 for what she was told would be a “COVID-19 test,” but bus drivers aren’t certified — or required — to conduct COVID test, nor is that how the test works.

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"And immediately I said 'a COVID test'? And she said 'yeah in my cheek', I said 'a COVID test is not done in your cheek'," said Thompson.

COVID tests are typically administered through the nose, so the cheek swab would not accurately detect the virus.

The incident occurred two weeks ago at Ridge Road Middle School and both parents have officially filed a report with the police — but questions are still being raised about abuse, privacy, and a lack of oversight for school bus drivers.


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“Where did the swabs go?" Thompson questioned, with no answer in sight from anyone involved in the investigation.

“Her trust for her bus driver — it was taken advantage of, my daughter trusted her because of the position she was in, I trusted her because of the position that she’s in," Davis said.

In a statement provided to WCNC Charlotte, CMS said the driver is suspended pending as the investigation continues.

The district added that the bus driver was acting outside of her assigned duties without the school’s or the district’s knowledge.


Despite all of that, the parents are forced to sit and wait until the pending investigation concludes and they can find out what was really going on from the bus driver’s end.

“As the parent, I just have to sit around and wait, and nothing eases my mind at night at all," Davis said.

You never suspect that the person whom you entrust your child to every day would be the one to betray that trust.


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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.