Ocean Springs School board speaks out about bus driver arrest

Ocean Springs School board speaks out about bus driver arrest

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A former Ocean Springs school bus driver, accused of inappropriately touching a student, is now out on bond. Tuesday evening, the Ocean Springs School board met for the first time since the incident came to light.

According to school district leaders, a parent reported that Sergio Argo Sandoval, 64, had touched their child's private parts on the bus. The next day Superintendent Bonita Coleman-Potter fired Sandoval, and by Thursday he was arrested at his home. Dr. Potter is hoping to be anything but private about the matter with parents.

"We always try to keep our parents informed. We are a very transparent school district," Potter said. "I actually sent letters home to every child who rode that bus from the elementary all the way to the high school."

Dr. Potter and district officials reviewed the video as soon as they became aware of the allegations.

"At that point I watched some of the footage from that particular bus, saw what I considered to be a blatant infraction of school board policy, and for that reason I terminated that employee," said Potter.

Potter feels the school district moved swiftly with the decision, and tried to be as proactive as possible when it came to informing parents.

"I'm hopeful that we haven't lost parents' trust. I hope that they see we're very forthcoming, as much as we can be," said Potter.

Parent Kacee Waters said the school district has handled the situation well, but it's something she has always dreaded happening.

"I have always worried about things like this, and I know with my children they all three ride the bus. Their bus driver has always been a female, so that puts my mind a little bit to ease," said Waters.

Waters hopes all school districts can learn from this situation, and take even more precautions to keep kids safe.

"Anytime you have an adult with children, you need to have someone else there; You need to have a second person. When you have an unsupervised situation such as a bus ride, I think it's important to have someone else there," said Waters.

After further investigation, Ocean Springs Police charged Sandoval with 31 more counts of touching a child for lustful purposes. Dr. Potter said the investigation is now in the hands of the police department, but there are counselors available for any students that may need them at the schools.

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