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      CCSD explains response to former bus driver's arrest

      Macneil Deas

      By Eric Eganeegan@abcnews4.com

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A former Durham bus driver who once drove for the Charleston County School District lost his job after he was accused of inappropriately touching two little girls.

      According to the district, the driver was suspended after allegations surfaced last November.

      The district waited until last week to first notify other parents whose children rode the bus he drove.

      Macneil Deas, 47, was arrested in December and again in January for criminal sexual conduct with a minor and second-degree assault and battery. Court affidavits said between August 2011 to May 2012, a 10-year-old girl accused Deas of offering her candy when she was getting off the bus. Deas then allegedly touched her in an inappropriate way on the front and back of her body.

      Deas is also accused of similar behavior with a girl in Kindergarten at a bus stop between August 2011 and November 2012. The driver was initially suspended at that time and according to Durham, no longer works with the company.

      Records show Deas has since bonded out of jail as he awaits trial.

      In the meantime, Charleston County Schools first told district parents what happened in a letter dated Friday, April 19. Signed by Superintendent Nancy McGinley, the letter said it was informing parents who may have come into contact with the driver last year.

      When asked why school officials waited nearly six months to release the information, leaders said police had been notified and the driver was no longer working.

      Part of the district statement also said, "Counsel for the district, John Emerson, explored the possibility of independently bringing the allegations to the attention of parents and guardians. Based upon the information he received at that time, he concluded that student bus rosters were not available, therefore no outreach occurred."

      The district said McGinley was told about the incidents for the first time on Wednesday, April 17. She then decided to send out the letter.

      The letter also told parents to contact the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center with any questions or concerns.

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