Palm Beach County woman honored for 'quick thinking' in attack on school bus
By Michael C. Bender
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 14, 2009
TALLAHASSEE — A Palm Beach County School district employee who put herself in harms way to keep a bus fill of children safe from a gunman was honored today as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's 2009 School Bus Operator of the Year.
Kendra Hankerson, 29, was driving about 50 students home on March 13 when a black SUV pulled in front of her. Two men, including one with a rifle, jumped out and began yelling for the students to get out of the bus.
Hankerson, the mother of two girls, maneuvered the bus to block the children, putting herself between the students and the gunman who was pointing the weapon at the bus.
She then ignored the usual drop-off stops and instead drove each child to his or her home.
Later the same day, Shorn Reckley, 21, was arrested for his involvement in the incident.
The charges against a second man were eventually dropped.
Reckley was eventually sentenced to 6 months probation, 100 hours of community service and 12 hours of anger management classe
He was also forced to pay a $250 fine and write a letter of apology to Hankerson, according to the Delray Beach Police Department.
Hankerson was honored Monday at the state Capitol for her "quick thinking."
"Ms. Hankerson, thank you for your courageous actions," FDLE Criminal Justice Information Services Director Donna Uzzell said.
Hankerson has been a school district employee for five years.
She received a community service commendation from the Delray Beach Police Department in June.