Fort Towson school board bans superintendent's bus driving privileges

FORT TOWSON, Okla. (KXII) -- The Fort Towson superintendent won't be driving school buses, or any vehicles carrying students for that matter, anymore after a school board decision Tuesday night.

This comes after several students shot pictures and video they say shows him texting while driving on a recent road trip.

The school board decided to take away the superintendent's privileges to drive these buses, but girls who were on the bus that day and their mothers said they don't think it's enough.

A crowd filled the Fort Towson school cafeteria Thursday evening.

The meeting started at 6:30 and shortly after, the board members went into executive session to talk about superintendent Charles Caughern's employment.

No actions were taken during the session.

Students said he was texting and talking on the phone while driving
them on a school bus to a softball game.

One mother said she was following behind the bus and saw it swerving.

The board said he violated not only school policy, but the state law which forbids using the phone while driving a school bus.

They voted unanimously in open meeting to take away his bus driving duties.

As far as his employment at the school, board members say that is an ongoing conversation.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is looking into allegations.

"It was a very scary experience. I don't like when people text and drive. It was just really scary, I was really nervous," said Fort Towson senior Keily Abney.

"Our family takes it very serious about no texting and driving. My nephew Nicholas Dees lost his life to someone that was texting and driving in less than three seconds. So I was very saddened by all this," said Gina Self, whose granddaughter was on the bus.

Mothers of the girls said they spoke with the Choctaw and McCurtain County sheriffs.

They said all eleven girls wrote statements about their experience that day.

Caughern has not been charged.