BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County School district employee is off the job after the board decided to approve her termination Tuesday.
Brenda Young was accused of giving false information to her supervisors back in May. The incident happened after Kalen Kirk, A Georgie Jenkins High School student was hit and killed while crossing Clubhouse Road in an attempt to catch the bus.
According to the district, they sat down with Young, who was in charge of making bus routes, in the hours following the accident.
“Did you alter those routes in any shape way or form? And she said no I have not,” said Rob Davis, interim Associate Superintendent of Operations. However, further investigation showed that the routes had been changed by Young.
The routes previously had students crossing Clubhouse Road to catch the bus, but the district tells WFLA News Channel 8 that Young changed the routes afterwards in a cover-up, after claiming she didn’t have any students crossing the road.
Young was in tears as she made her appeal before the school board.
“With me known the family personally and talking to the dad in reference to some other issues, it really got to me,” said Young. “I’m upset that the accident happened. You know it was nothing I could do to change what happened in that accident. It was my desire to make sure no other students for the school board of Polk County would be injured or anything to that effect.”
Young has been an employee of the district for 17 years and school board members questioned if termination was the only option they had.
“Are we bound simply by termination or not termination? Is there a mechanism for something short of that,” asked board member William Townsend.
However the board voted unanimously to take the recommendation of the hearing officer that Young be terminated.
“You have to trust the supervisors that are dealing with 7000, 8000 students on a daily basis and I don’t have that trust,” said Davis.
The county also voted today to reduce the speed limit on Clubhouse Road from 45 m.p.h to 40 m.p.h. after numerous accidents.