CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Parents are outraged after they claim a Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools bus driver offered their kids money to swab the inside of their mouths.
They claim the driver took samples of about 10 kids without parental permission.
“It was a red flag, and it happened on the bus, on the school grounds," CMS parent Dawn Thompson said.
“As a minor, she was taken advantage of and she shouldn’t have done anything to my child without parental consent," said Mone Davis, another parent.
When parents send their kids off on buses, they trust drivers to keep their children safe. Thompson and Davis are shocked after they said their daughters, 8th grader De-jsani Green and 6th grader Dynasti Davis, were pressed by a bus driver to swab the inside of their mouth.
Thompson said her daughter told her the driver gave her $5 for what was allegedly a COVID-19 test.
"And immediately I said 'a COVID test'? And she said 'yeah in my cheek', I said 'a COVID test is not done in your cheek'," said Thompson.
This reportedly happened two weeks ago at Ridge Road Middle School. Both parents have filed a police report. Now, there are questions about abuse, privacy, and a lack of oversight for school bus drivers.
“Where did the swabs go?" Thompson questioned.
“Her trust for her bus driver -- it was taken advantage of, my daughter trusted her because of the position she was in, I trusted her because of the position that she’s in," Davis said.
In a statement provided to WCNC Charlotte, CMS said the driver is suspended pending as an investigation continued. The district also said driver was supposedly acting outside of assigned duties, and without the school or district's knowledge.
Still, parents want answers now.
“As the parent, I just have to sit around and wait, and nothing eases my mind at night at all," Davis said.
Contact Lexi Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.