While the Judice Middle School teachers involved in last week’s so-called bar-hopping party on school time have been cleared of any wrongdoing, that’s not the case for the Lafayette Parish School System official who allegedly acted as their paid chauffeur.
That official is Brad Duhon, LPSS’ assistant transportation director, and according to one anonymous source with knowledge of the situation, Duhon has since been terminated as a result of the incident.
It all started last Wednesday, the last official day for teachers, when Judice Middle teachers were dismissed early, with permission, after finishing up their final paperwork for the year. No students were at school that day. After being dismissed early, the teachers boarded a privately owned bus at about 1 p.m.that they had contracted out to celebrate the end of the year. The "Hot Mess Express" party made headlines — OK, it was blown out of proportion — after several of the teachers posted pictures on Facebook showing them drinking at various bars. Behind the wheel that day was Duhon, whom our source says was paid an undisclosed amount by each of the teachers on board.
An investigation launched by LPSS has since prompted a considerable amount of outcry on social media on behalf of the teachers. The teachers were cleared. Duhon was canned.
Though school system officials would not directly confirm Duhon’s termination, citing that it is a “personnel matter,” LPSS Chief Financial Officer Joe Craig did say a number of questions were raised by Duhon's actions that day, adding the issue was mainly a problem of communication.
“You really have to look at his daily responsibilities,” says Craig. “As assistant director you have certain job responsibilities. Periodically, he does drive a bus if we’re short of drivers. We’re just looking at the process and making sure if district staff were aware. Did he have approval? Were there other tasks he was supposed to be doing that day? Was his supervisor aware?”
The bus departed Judice Middle at about 1 p.m.; it’s unclear whether Duhon was on the clock at the time of the incident.
Let's hope this is all a big misunderstanding and Duhon gets his job back.