Antioch District 34 reaches tentative agreement with suspended bus driver

  • Bus driver Kevin Garfinkle talks to parents, community members and staff of Antioch Elementary District 34 as they rallied in support of him Thursday evening outside the Antioch Upper Grade School.

      Bus driver Kevin Garfinkle talks to parents, community members and staff of Antioch Elementary District 34 as they rallied in support of him Thursday evening outside the Antioch Upper Grade School. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/2/2018 4:49 PM

Antioch Elementary District 34 says a tentative resolution has been reached in the case of a school bus driver who was put on unpaid suspension after confiscating a replica grenade from a first-grader on his bus last month.

After emerging from nearly seven hours of closed-door discussion Thursday night, school board President MaryBeth Hulting read a statement regarding the situation involving the driver, Kevin Garfinkle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"After both parties had an opportunity to hear testimony and view the evidence tonight, we mutually reached a tentative resolution, which we believe is in both parties best interests," Hulting said.

"Although no action will take place tonight (Thursday), the board will convene in the near future to bring this matter to closure," the statement read.

When that will be was not announced and details of the "resolution" were not made public. The district was expected to release further information on its website Friday.

Bridget Shanahan, a representative for the Illinois Education Association, said Thursday, the district is blaming Garfinkle for something he didn't do.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We are in the process of working out a separation agreement with the district, and we're hoping to resolve all of this soon," she said Friday afternoon.

Garfinkle was suspended without pay a week after the situation that occurred on his bus Jan. 11. The bus was parked to unload children at Hillcrest Elementary School that morning when he was told a student had a "grenade" in his backpack.

Garfinkle confiscated what later was determined to be a harmless replica and turned it over to a teacher in the parking lot. But a week later, Garfinkle said, he was called into his supervisor's office and told he was being suspended without pay for insubordination because he spoke to parents without permission.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.