Logan County school weighs making changes after alleged bus assault

The Benjamin Logan Local School District is weighing whether changes need to be made after a high school sophomore is accused of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl on a district bus.

The incident allegedly took place Oct. 24 on a school bus, according to Logan County Sheriff Randall Dodds. The girl reportedly told her parents about the incident the next day.

The 15-year-old boy was arrested for rape and gross sexual imposition. He is being held at the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center.

The Logan County Prosecutor’s Office said the teen could be facing more charges once paperwork is finalized.

The student, a bus helper, is not being named because he is a juvenile.

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Ben Logan Transportation Supervisor Wade Mannings said bus helpers are usually students, regardless of age, who have ridden the bus for a couple of years and are familiar with the route.

Mannings said the student is there to help substitute bus drivers when they’re unfamiliar with routes and stops. With no GPS systems on the bus, he said the bus helper has been heavily relied on.

“The only directions they have is directions on paper and there’s no way they could do that without someone there to help them,” he said.

Mannings said the only real requirement to be a bus helper is that the student is familiar with the route. Because of the district’s size, students of all ages are on the same bus together, although Mannings said they are separated into sections by grade level. Ben Logan’s busing serves nearly 220 miles, according to school officials.

Mannings said making changes to the systems in place will be difficult. The bus helpers will remain in place on buses, but how students are chosen will be difficult moving forward, he said.

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“The last thing I want to do is to overreact and do something and put kids possibly in another situation where they need not be in,” Mannings said, “We are going to be selective but at the same time it’s still a judgment.”

He compared the situation to driving in a small car, where you can see everything behind you. He went on to say a minivan is a little harder because of the extra layer of seats.

Multiply that by 10, or even 20, he said, referencing what’s it like to drive a school bus.

“For anyone that has ever driven a bus or ridden a bus, I would have to say it’s virtually impossible for that driver to see everything that happens on that bus,” Mannings said.

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The bus driver who was working on the bus requested for, and was granted, time away from work.

Ben Logan Superintendent David Harmon said the student bus helper had built trust between him and the bus driver.

“Our obligation now is to simply give every bit of our support to our families and not at all minimize anything that occurred,” Harmon said.

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