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Retraction: Passaic Public Schools Says It Did Not Ban Bus Company Involved in Paterson Student Fatality

Joe Malinconico / PatersonPress.com

Friday, February 15, 2013 • 11:51am

PATERSON, NJ - PatersonPress.com is retracting a story it published on Thursday regarding K&M Transportation, the Wallington bus company that was involved in a fatal incident  in early January.

The story erroneously said Passaic Public Schools last year had banned K&M for three years because of contract violations. That information was attributed to a press release issued by the New Jersey School Bus Contractors Association under the names of its president, Mark Jordan, and its legal counsel, William Pascrell III.

But Passaic school business administrator, James Shoop, called PatersonPress.com on Friday and said K&M was not the company that had been banned. He said the district had imposed a three-year ban on Morgan Educational Services of Hackensack for various contract violations.

Shoop said Passaic briefly had a contract with K&M, but it expired under normal conditions.

PatersonPress.com had attempted to contact Shoop on Thursday and left a phone message for him. PatersonPress.com also sent an email to the woman listed as the district's media contact on its website. Shoop said he had not gotten the phone message. Moreover, he said the media person listed on the district's website had retired two years ago. He said he did not realize she was still listed on the site and said he would notify the district's technology person to update that information.

When told of Shoop's statement that Passaic had not terminated a contract with K&M, Jordan said, "That's news to me.'' Jordan said he had been told by an official in Passaic's transportation department that K&M's contract had been terminated along with that of Morgan.

Paterson Public Schools terminated its contract with K&M on January 4 on the grounds that the company was in violation of the terms of the agreement. That was two days after 14-year-old Onynx Williams suffered fatal head injuries when she went out through the bus' rear emergency exit while the vehicle was moving.

The contract required that K&M provide two aides on the bus and that only Paterson children be transported. But police have said there was one aide on the bus at the time Williams was injured and the vehicle was on its way to drop off a student who lived in Lyndhurst.

 

 

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