Edgecombe County school worker accused of inappropriately touching 3 female students

Jamiese Price Image
Saturday, October 7, 2023
Edgecombe bus driver accused of touching students
EMBED <>More Videos

Edgecombe County Sheriff investigators said school custodian and bus driver Stephen Wells inappropriately touched three students.

PINETOPS, N.C. (WTVD) -- Kristina Hussey's 14-year-old daughter has spent the last three years at South Edgecombe Middle School.

It's where Edgecombe County Sheriff investigators said school custodian and bus driver Stephen Wells, 68, inappropriately touched three female students who are a part of the exceptional children's program.

"There's nobody you can trust at this point. When teachers or custodians, or people that you expect to do right by your children do things like this, you just really want to do a home school thing is what you really want to do," Hussey said Friday, hours after getting the news of the allegations against Wells.

The sheriff's office said the assault on the 14-year-old student happened on Sept. 7.

The school's principal alerted authorities the next day.

The victim told police there were more students and that's when investigators discovered there were three victims -- ages 14, 13, and 12.

The school district terminated Wells on Sept. 11, according to a district spokesperson.

"It's ridiculous. It's insane. We have to do more to protect our babies," said Jaquella Bradshaw, who is new to the community

A district spokesperson said they are aware of the charges and the school system is cooperating fully with law enforcement.

"It's definitely hurtful to know that it's happening under our noses," Bradshaw added.

Wells is facing several charges including three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery and one count of felony indecent liberties with a child.

Bradshaw said cases such as these remind her that parents have more work to do.

"We have to train these kids on what's right and what's wrong. And you know what to do in situations where they feel vulnerable or uncomfortable," she said.

It is a talk that Hussey revisits often with her daughter.

"When they start wanting to talk about personal things and your life and all those type of things and stuff should be left for home and left for family and friends," she explained.

According to a list of tips from Kids First, a North Carolina nonprofit:

  • Parents should talk about "safe" and "unsafe" touching rather than "good" or "bad" touching.
  • Teach children the difference between healthy and unhealthy secrets.
  • Inform children to seek out other trusted adults to confide in
  • And instruct children to continue to seek help if something is wrong until someone can step in