RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An elementary school principal in Raleigh pleaded no contest in court Monday to a charge of passing a stopped school bus, court officials say.
Johneka Simmons Williams, who is principal at Bugg Magnet Elementary on Cooper Road in Raleigh, was charged April 27.
She was originally scheduled for a court appearance on Sept. 15 in Smithfield.
Williams, 36, lives in Clayton. On the incident report, the Highway Patrol trooper said Williams told him that she would never pass a stopped school bus and had not done so while the stop arm was out.
On Monday, Williams pleaded no contest and was found guilty, according to the Johnston County Clerk of Court.
Williams received a sentence of 45 days, however, it was suspended and she received 6 months of unsupervised probation. She was also fined $500.
She must pay all fines and court costs by Dec. 18.
In a statement made in October, Williams said, “Please know that I take roadway safety seriously, particularly when it involves students. I work diligently every day to ensure the safety of students.”
North Carolina officials have increasingly raised concerns about the rising problem of drivers passing stopped school buses, which the state has said could exceed 3,000 incidents in a single day.
WNCN Investigates, through its #Brake4Buses initiative, has produced multiple stories on the issue and the General Assembly has responded by enacted tougher laws on the matter.