UPDATED: Bus driver accused of leaving student not terminated, I-SS admits communication error

Maria Sanchez – Picture courtesy of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office


The East Iredell Middle bus driver accused by the Sheriff’s Office of making a student get off for poor behavior last week remains on administrative leave.

Iredell-Statesville Schools previously reported that Maria Sanchez had been terminated from her position, but issued a correction Monday.

Captain Mike Bova with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office says Sanchez stopped the bus on Skyland Drive off Bell Farm Road, telling the 12-year-old that if he couldn’t behave he could get off. He says she returned about 15 minutes later and was told by an area resident that the child’s mother and Sheriff’s Office had been called.

A call to Sanchez for comment was not returned.  Stay with WSIC for continued coverage.

Iredell County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Darren Campbell stated an Iredell County teacher’s assistant/bus driver with Iredell Statesville Schools is facing a Misdemeanor Child Abuse charge after an incident that occurred Wednesday morning in eastern Iredell County. Deputies with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at around 8:00 am in the Bell Farm Road area.

The caller reported to Deputies that an unknown child had knocked on their door and was saying the school bus driver had forced him to get off the bus for misbehaving. The child asked the caller if they could call his mother to come get him. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the home where they located the child, who was turned over to family members. It was learned from the Sheriff’s Office investigation that the child had gotten on the bus and was on his way to school. At some point during the bus ride on Bell Farm Road, the bus driver made the child get off the bus on Skyland Drive, which is off Bell Farm Road. The child then walked to the nearest house and asked the resident to call his mother. The 12 year old child is a student at East Iredell Middle School.

The bus driver was identified as Maria Victoria Sanchez, 43, of Tarrington Dr., Statesville and is currently employed by Iredell Statesville Schools.

Maria Sanchez was arrested and charged with Misdemeanor Child Abuse. Sanchez is currently held in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $2,000.00 secured bond and has a May 1st court date.

This press release appears as received from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here. Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed. Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  This press release was posted at WSICfm.com after being received from the agency listed. Article title and picture captions may, or may not be, part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information received from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

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