(Editor's Note: This story was updated at 1:15 pm after receiving a brief statement from Corey McAbier)
BREAKING : Corey McAbier, a Grahamsville resident and award-winning school bus driver for Rolling V Bus Corp., had to remove his children from Tri-Valley Central School District's elementary school last week after officials learned that he and his family were in Washington, D.C. on January 6 - the day of the riots at the Capitol.
At press time, it could not be confirmed if McAbier and his family were at the U.S. Capitol.
At 1:15 today, McAbier emailed a statement to The SullivanTimes that said: "I have a right to peacefully protest and let my opinion be known as I see fit, I have never and would never participate in any violence or illegal activity in anyway. "
In an exclusive interview this morning with The SullivanTimes, Tri-Valley Superintendent Michael Williams confirmed that McAbier's children are now doing home instruction. He said:
"If someone in a household tests positive for Covid-19 and/or is quarantined, the children are then put on home instruction until that quarantine is lifted."
Williams said that McAbier, 29, was contacted by school officials last week and asked to pick his up his children from school. Coincidentally, McAbier has been a driver of a school bus in the district since 2016. Although no longer on his regular school route, he continues to drive the Tri-Valley BOCES "tech" bus and also serves as a bus monitor in the Tri-Valley district. Part of his role as a bus monitor is take the student's temperatures before getting on the buses. He has been employed by Rolling V since 2016 and is a former volunteer firefighter for the Neversink Fire Department.
McAbier has been known to The SullivanTimes for months for posting far-right conspiracy theories on his own Facebook page as well as a community page about the Town of Neversink. In addition, one parent in the district said that McCabier would share his political views with some of the older kids on the school bus but that the material was also overheard by younger children. He recently hid his profile on Facebook and has reportedly been using fictitious names.
McCabier in 2017 was recognized by Mike Martucci - then the president of the New York School Bus Contractors Association and now the State Senator for the 42nd District - as the 2017 Rookie bus driver of the year. Nick Vallone, the son of Rolling V owner Phil Vallone, is the President-Elect of that Association.
Aside from the many school districts that have contracts with Rolling V, the company was also awarded a contract by the County for its Move Sullivan program.
Sources say that McAbier has been vocal against the wearing of masks to combat Covid-19 and had poked fun at those who did.
One parent who contacted The SullivanTimes on Sunday afternoon said she saw McAbier last Monday afternoon at around 2:20 pm driving the BOCES bus at the intersection of Route 55 and Aden Road and that he was not wearing a mask.
Another parent sent The SullivanTimes a copy of an email from Williams, the superintendent, from August 2020 after she complained about McAbier not wearing a mask. "I have reiterated to Mr. Vallone that I expect every driver to be masked at all times while driving any of our school buses," Williams wrote.
The SullivanTimes late Sunday also reached out to both Phil Vallone and Nick Vallone for comment about McCabier's status and reports that he is not wearing a mask.