School officials speak out after bus driver charged
GLEASON (WAOW) -
51-year old Bobb Bergman, of Gleason, was arrested Friday morning as he began his bus route. Bergman faces multiple charges, including exposing himself to a child, causing a child mental harm and stalking.
While the news of Bergman's arrest came as a surprise to many Merrill school officials, they say their students are safe.
"I have full faith in our bus companies and their drivers," Merrill Area Schools Interim Superintendent Bruce Anderson said.
The Merrill school district has worked with the same three bus companies for generations. With the news of Bergman's arrest, Anderson says, their working relationship won't change.
"This is no way a reflection of the bus companies. We know they provide a safe service to our students and this won't change our relationship," Anderson said.
According to court documents, Bergman is accused of sending roughly 10 picture messages and several text messages to an 11 year old Merrill Student who rode Bergman's bus. Investigators say many of the messages were nude photos.
"We are going through all the phone records and following any leads," Lead investigator Lt. Tim Gerdmann with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department said.
Authorities say Bergman also asked the victim to get the numbers of other children on the bus, but the student never did. Authorities believe this was an isolated incident.
The name of the bus company has not been released and school officials would not comment further. However, Anderson says he will be sending home a letter to the parents whose children rode Bergman's bus.
"It's important for them to know what is going on. We want to keep them informed. So, they know they can call with questions or concerns," Anderson said.
According to the criminal complaint, Bergman denies sending nude photos of himself to the child. News line 9 tried to contact Bergman seeking comment, he did not return our calls.
School officials say Bergman is currently on leave.