Parent charged with threatening school bus driver

Published 7:26 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2018

BATH — An angry parent was charged with disorderly conduct on a school bus and communicating threats this week, after authorities say she approached a Beaufort County Schools bus and threatened the driver.

According to a press release from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, on Oct. 24 at about 4 p.m., Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call about a verbal altercation between a parent and a Beaufort County Schools bus driver on Biggs Road in Pinetown.

After arrival, the release states that deputies learned the bus driver had been confronted by an angry parent claiming the driver had dropped her child off at the wrong location. The driver reported that during the altercation, Karly Rae Gurganus, age 21, of Washington, tracked the bus down, got out of her vehicle, aggressively approached the bus window and threatened the bus driver with bodily harm while using profanity in front of the children still on the bus.

After an investigation into the incident and reviewing camera footage on the bus, a Beaufort County School Resource Officer charged Gurganus with one count of disorderly conduct on a school bus. The unidentified victim in the case also pressed charges against Gurganus for one count of communicating threats.

Gurganus was arrested on Oct. 29, and her bond was set at $3,000, secured. Gurganus has also been banned from entering the property at Bath Elementary for the remainder of the school year.

For BCS Interim Superintendent Mark Doane, the incident highlights the importance of safety during all parts of the school day, from the bus stop to the classroom.

“When we talk about school safety, that extends to the school bus to the playground to field trips,” Doane said. “School safety is anything and everything related to school, and we’re going to do everything in our power to ensure that our students are safe and protected.”

While Doane emphasized the school system’s efforts to be proactive with regard to student safety, he said, in some cases, such as this one, BCS has no choice but to be reactive.

“Our driver was placed in a situation where it was necessary to contact authorities, and they took it from there,” Doane said. “We’re very appreciative of that.”