MCDUFFIE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Students who typically ride the school bus in McDuffie County needed to find an alternate way to school Thursday.
School superintendent, Mychele Rhodes, sent out an automated call to parents to let them know that the buses have been vandalized and will not run.
A McDuffie County Schools spokesperson tells WJBF that sometime during the early morning hours of Thursday, March 2, an individual entered the McDuffie County School System’s transportation lot and damaged 23 of the 63 total buses in the fleet.
A 16-year-old suspect was apprehended by law enforcement and school resource officers. Criminal charges have been filed. The suspect is a current McDuffie County student that was being served off campus because of a previous incident.
Law enforcement tells WJBF that the suspect took a set of keys to one of the buses and went joyriding. They damaged several traffic signs, hit a tree, hit a light pole, and hit several other school buses.
Officials are working to calculate damage estimates for both the buses and school property.
As a result of the damage, not all the bus routes were able to run on Thursday. Students who normally ride buses and were unable to find alternate transportation were excused for the day.
The Columbia County School System is loaning buses temporarily to McDuffie County Schools, and all regular bus routes are expected to resume Friday.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 for updates on this developing story.