The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office will try a 65-year-old former school bus driver on charges of indecent assault, harassment and other offenses related to touching female students.
David Gardner waived a preliminary hearing on Thursday, said the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.
The attorney general’s office alleges that Gardner also verbally harassed students, commented on their physical appearances, and asked a 15-year-old female student to sit on his lap. The incidents occurred on the bus Gardner drove for the Mount Union Area Junior/Senior High School.
The Pennsylvania State Police began investigating Gardner after receiving a tip from the Huntington County Office of Children’s Services. The police also learned that the stepmother of one of Gardner’s alleged victims had contacted the school to complain about the bus driver’s behavior.
“This bus driver exploited his position as a high school bus driver to harass and assault underage minors who were entrusted to his care,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement on Thursday. “Students took action and were brave enough to come forward about this abuse, and now, he will be held responsible for his crimes. We will hold him—and anyone who abuses children in Pennsylvania—accountable.”
Phone messages left with the Mount Area Union School District seeking comment on Gardner’s current job status, as well as his experience driving a school bus, were unreturned at this report.