CUMBERLAND CITY, Tenn. – A school bus driver was shot to death as she drove her route Wednesday morning and a male student was taken into custody, authorities said. No students were hurt.
Law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that the bus driver died.
At the time of the shooting, the bus was carrying up to 20 students, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, said Bill Austin, a supervisor for Stewart County schools.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (search) spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said the student taken into custody is 14 years old. Authorities did not immediately give his name.
The bus crashed into a utility pole at the driveway of the student's home and knocked out power in the rural neighborhood. A white sheet was draped across the front of the bus and door as authorities investigated the scene.
Mitchell Kern, a neighbor who graduated from high school last year, said the student who was taken into custody had been kicked off the bus a couple of weeks ago for using smokeless tobacco.
"He was a good kid," Kern said. "He listened to his parents; they loved him to death."
Stewart County school superintendent Phillip Wallace declined to identify the driver, other than to say she had worked for the schools for two years.
Cumberland City (search) is about 50 miles northwest of Nashville.
More than one in three school-based police officers say violent incidents on school buses are on the rise, according to results released Wednesday of an informal school safety survey.
Also, two out of three officers surveyed said bus drivers and other school transportation officials had received no training on security measures during the past three years.
And almost eight in 10 of the school-based officers took a weapon away from a student on school property during the last year, according to the survey of more than 750 officers by the National Association of School Resource Officers (search).
The association is a non-profit organization of school-based police officers.