BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: Palm Beach County School District) — School District of Palm Beach County bus aide and former bus driver were arrested by Palm Beach County School District Police on Thursday and now face felony charges of child neglect.
School District Police investigated former driver Claudette Sylvain and aide Carmen Zow after they failed to conduct a mandatory check of their bus on Oct. 12 and left a J.C. Mitchell Elementary School second grade student alone on a bus for at least three hours. Both Sylvain and Zow were charged with one count of child neglect, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
The student was discovered by a mechanic at a District bus compound in Boynton Beach, and School District Police began the investigation that resulted in criminal charges.
“What happened to this student was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated, which is why I asked School District Police to investigate and determine whether criminal charges were warranted,” said Superintendent Robert M. Avossa, Ed.D. “Our drivers are trained on proper procedures before and after every trip. The School District Police investigation confirmed that those basic checks were not conducted.”
Zow was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Thursday, while Sylvain has agreed to turn herself in to the jail. Sylvain, who had been with the District less than three months, was immediately terminated. Zow has been temporarily reassigned and could face termination.
“I commend Detective Ezra Dilbert for his outstanding work on this investigation, and ensuring that these two individuals are charged appropriately for the severity of their actions,” said School District Police Chief Lawrence J. Leon.