In addition to looking into claims that a school bus driver inappropriately touched students on his route, Port Washington administrators and police are investigating a separate "safety issue" with the same the bus driver, Thomas Jefferson Middle School Principal Arlan Galarowicz said Wednesday.
Galarowicz could not say what the safety issue was because the matter remains under investigation, but he said the school became aware of both issues at the same time, occurring with the same driver.
Police said they received a phone call from a parent Oct. 13 alleging inappropriate behavior by a school bus driver toward students on the bus.
Galarowicz said police immediately notified the school, and the Johnson School Bus Service driver was put on leave.
"From the time we were informed of the situation, the driver has not driven a route," Galarowicz said.
Police then launched an investiation, with help from administrators to interview students at school. Officers are still interviewing potential victims and witnesses, and no charges have been filed.
One parent told Patch on Tuesday that his son, who was interviewed by police, told him a bus driver had inappropriately touched him and others last school year. He said the bus driver would touch students on the thighs and buttocks if they did not give him a high five.
The parent said Wednesday that he could not provide more detail because police asked parents not to speak to the media about the incident in an effort to preserve the investigation.
Galarowicz said administrators at each school have contacted parents whose children have been interviewed by police, but he said he was not sure whether that included every student who rode with the driver in question.
"We did a thorough investigation and we contacted every parent that we thought was involved," Galarowicz said. "Our kids are in a safe environment."
Port Washington-Saukville Superintendent Michael Weber was not available for comment Wednesday.
In the past, Galarowicz said he has ridden bus routes home to make sure the busses were safe. He said that prior to being notified about the innappropriate behavior, to his knowledge no school administrator had received any complaints about a driver inappropriately touching students.
"This district does everything in its power to assure that the safety and needs of all our kids are met daily, hourly and minute by minute," Galarowicz said.
Police ask anyone with information to call the Port Washington Police Department at 262-284-5575.