ATLANTA — The 11Alive Verify team is looking into a viral video that is making the rounds online, allegedly claiming students stole an Atlanta Public Schools bus and went on a joy ride. 

Our Verify team spent the day digging into it to find the truth.

QUESTION

Was an Atlanta school bus stolen by students Friday afternoon and taken on a joy ride?

ANSWER

No.

EXPLANATION

Seth Coleman, a spokesman for the Atlanta Public Schools system, started researching this Sunday as soon as 11Alive News brought the video to their attention. They learned the incident happened Friday after school.

Coleman said they tracked down the bus driver, who told them he’d already dropped off his elementary school kids to their bus stops. He was at his final stop when some middle school students flagged him down and asked for a ride to the top of the hill. The hill was in the same apartment complex and just a short distance away so the driver did. But he said he never let a student drive and his original bus load of students had already been delivered safely.

Picking up the students, however, was a violation of schools policy:

“District policy for APS bus operators dictates that they adhere strictly to their route assignment or to the destination of their assigned field trip or extracurricular activity. Any additional transportation of students must accompany authorization from a supervisor.”

The incident is being investigated further to see if the driver will face any disciplinary actions.

SOURCES

Seth Coleman, Atlanta Public Schools