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Hall school board recognizes attentive bus driver

Public hearing to be held on charter school

POSTED: October 13, 2007 5:05 a.m.

Something seemed out of place.

The young man stepped on his school bus the morning of Sept. 6, but he was not one of Mike Nesbitt’s regular passengers. Nesbitt asked where the man went to school and got the reply, "The high school."

Nesbitt wasn’t buying it. He ended up asking the passenger to leave the bus.

Turns out Nesbitt’s concerns were valid. Moments later, 20-year-old David Klefforth went to a nearby house and, authorities said later, made "aggressive moves" toward the homeowner, who shot Klefforth in the abdomen.

The Hall County Board of Education recognized Nesbitt for his quick thinking at Monday night’s monthly meeting, presenting him with a plaque.

"We don’t know (Klefforth’s) intentions or why he was on the bus," said Jewel Armour, executive operations director. "We’re just thankful for the job (Nesbitt) did."

After the meeting, Nesbitt said, "I’m thankful (Klefforth) got off (the bus). I was worried. ... My viewpoint of him was that he was either drunk, on drugs or mentally disturbed."

At the time, authorities said Klefforth, who lived in the area, had a history of violent criminal acts and suffered from unspecified mental health issues.

Moments after leaving Nesbitt’s bus, he went to a house in the 5000 block of Blackberry Lane off McEver Road and began walking up the driveway.

The homeowner ordered Klefforth to stop. Klefforth, who was unarmed, ignored the command and kept walking toward the front door of the home, authorities said.

After warning him several times, the homeowner fired one shot at the man’s legs, which missed.

Klefforth continued toward the home-
owner, who fired another shot that hit Klefforth in the abdomen. Initially, Klefforth was in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

But Nesbitt, whose bus carries students who attend Flowery Branch Elementary, West Hall High and West Hall Middle schools, said he has checked on the man since the episode.

Klefforth is still recovering, but "he’s back at home," said the bus driver.

The school board also recognized another bus driver, Annette Willis, for taking a student back to his school after no one was at home to receive him. At the school, a call was made to the youngster’s parents.

In other business Monday night, the school board discussed holding a public hearing before Nov. 1 on a proposed World Languages Academy charter school that would take the place of Chestnut Mountain Elementary School.

Parents who live in the Chestnut Mountain district, plus any others interested in the proposed South Hall school, would be able to vote by signed ballot on whether they favored the school.

Chestnut Mountain Elementary is moving to a new building off Union Church Road. A date hasn’t been set for the hearing.

The board also heard from competency specialist Gerald Boyd on asking the Georgia Board of Education to add four International Baccalaureate courses to the list of state-funded courses: world literature and English for Spanish speakers, economics and design technology.

Johnson, North Hall and West Hall high schools are planning to start up the Geneva-based IB’s Diploma Programme, a two-year curriculum for high school juniors and seniors that enables students to earn up to a year of college credit while taking a rigorous and international-based curriculum.

IB authorization teams are set to visit Johnson on Oct. 22-23; North Hall, Nov. 26-27; and West Hall, Nov. 29-30.



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