MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — Manor New Tech High School and the Manor Independent School District Administration Building were briefly placed on lockdown as Travis County Sheriff’s Office SWAT members arrested a bus driver for the district.
Larry Covson Jr., 51, was arrested for a violation of his parole stemming from felony drug charges in 2000. According to a judgement obtained by KXAN News, Covson pleaded guilty to “unlawful possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, namely cocaine in an amount of 400 grams or more.” The plea bargain was for a 15-year sentence.
Manor police recently learned Covson moved to a new residence without notifying officers, a violation of his parole. Around the time he moved it was reported a loaded gun had gone missing from the home, police said.
Authorities arrived at the main offices for the district Thursday and were informed Covson was in a break room. Because of their close proximity to the school, officials ordered the lockdown. Covson was taken into custody without incident and a search turned up no weapons.
The lockdown at the school and administration office was lifted about 15 minutes after it went into place.
Covson was a contract bus driver for blind students in Manor ISD, authorities said. GoldStar transit said late Thursday that Covson had been fired from his job and that he worked for the company for less than 30 days. The company added he had a clean driving record during that time and no incidents were reported.
‘We completed all required local, state and federal pre-employment screening, including a criminal background check,” a GoldStar spokesperson said. “We are deeply disappointed by the actions of this individual. In no way does this reflect on the great job our dedicated drivers and attendants do each and every day.”
“Manor ISD follows strict hiring guidelines, conducts background checks on all employees, and requires that all service contractors follow Chapter 22 of the Texas Education Code, to ensure that no one with disqualifying convictions serves in the district,” read a statement from Manor ISD. “Manor ISD will be visiting with each of our service contractors to confirm that appropriate procedures are in place in order to protect the safety of all students and staff in the district.”
Under Chapter 22, mentioned in the statement, schools and subcontractors can not hire certain applicants based on their criminal backgrounds.
However, drug charges are not included in that portion of the Texas code. The code says those with a “conviction of which a defendant is required to register as a sex offender” and those with certain felonies including murder and kidnapping can not work in schools.