21 Aug 2014
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MERS BOE to Discuss Bus Accident Tonight

To see what action the Board takes in light of last weeks' bus accident and arrest, or to voice your opinion on the matter, come out to their meeting tonight.

MERS BOE to Discuss Bus Accident Tonight

The Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education is having their public meeting tonight at at 7:30 p.m. Among regular business, the Board will be discussing the recent bus accident involving Kristy Tufte, a district employee who was , something which was discovered after .

All 37 children on the bus were uninjured, accounted for, and sent off to school. Tufte, 34, was arrested by police for having 3 outstanding bench warrants and a suspended drivers’ license. Upon learning of Tufte’s arrest, district Superintendent John J. Marciante Jr. immediately terminated her, Board Member Dotty Porcaro said at Wednesday's Town Hall meeting.

The bench warrants stemmed from two traffic violations out of Englishtown and Woodbridge, where Tufte failed to appear in court. And the third bench warrant came out of Freehold for failure to appear in court for a summons issued for alleged shoplifting at the Lord & Taylor department store located at Freehold Raceway Mall.

According to , when a driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, the Motor Vehicle Commission informs the Criminal History Review Unit, who then informs the district and categorizes the individual as “ineligible for employment”. In this case, the letter from the Criminal Review Unit was received by the district and signed by a district employee, but never placed in the employee’s folder. Therefore, no action was taken.

“It was just very unfortunate circumstances that the letter was signed for and the letter never got into proper hands, and all of those things have to be fixed,” Porcaro said.

Manalapan Mayor Susan Cohen informed the public that the Township Committee has no jurisdiction over the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education, in accordance with New Jersey law. 

The Executive County Superintendent requires all district employees to have an updated status report in June of every year. “There’s policies involved here, and policies have to change,” Porcaro said.

Marciante recommended quarterly status updates of all drivers, but Porcaro recommends monthly updates to ensure that this does not happen again. Porcaro said that she will approach the Board tonight and ask that the district begin doing monthly checks.

“Unfortunately in this case, the letter did not get received by the proper person and she slipped through the cracks, there’s nothing we can do about it,” Porcaro said.

If you wish to make a public comment on this issue, please come to Pine Brook School tonight at 7:30 p.m. for the Board of Education public meeting.

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