The Montana school principal fined $100 in the school bus overhaul case

HELEN, Mont. – Montana’s top school official has been fined $100 after she failed to appeal a subpoena alleging she illegally drove past a stopped school bus while children were boarding.

Public Instruction Superintendent Elsie Arntzen entered Wednesday’s pleading, meaning she admitted no guilt but did not deny the charges, Helena Municipal Court records show.

Arntzen was quoted last week for illegally overtaking the bus in a residential area on the morning of May 19.

She said she didn’t remember the incident, but the East Helena Public School bus driver recognized her and wrote down the license plate number of the pickup truck that passed the bus, police reports said. The school district also provided Helena Police with two photos from the school bus video camera showing the incident.

Helena Municipal Court Judge Anne Peterson suspended $400 from the $500 fine and ordered that Arntzen could have the citation removed from her driving record if she had no traffic violations in the next two months, court documents said.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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