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UPDATE: Sentencing for Valpo School Bus Driver Who Pleaded Guilty After Letting Kids Drive Bus

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Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo/FILE
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UPDATE: 

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A former northwestern Indiana school bus driver who authorities say allowed children as young as 11 years old drive a bus has been given probation.

Joandrea McAtee, of Portage, was sentenced Monday to nearly two years of probation. McAtee pleaded guilty in September to felony neglect of a dependent in an agreement with prosecutors.

The 28-year-old McAtee can petition to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor if she completes probation.

The Porter County sheriff's office has said McAtee allowed three students — ages 11, 13 and 17 — to drive the bus for a short distance in a rural area near Valparaiso as she was dropping students off from school in September 2018. McAtee was fired by the Porter Township school district.

ORIGINAL POST:

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A former northwestern Indiana school bus driver who authorities say allowed children as young as 11 years old drive a bus has pleaded guilty in an agreement with prosecutors.

Joandrea McAtee, of Portage, who was charged with a felony count of neglect of a dependent, entered the agreement Monday.

The Porter County Sheriff's Office has said McAtee allowed three students to drive the bus last year for a short distance in a rural area near Valparaiso.