Alachua County school bus driver arrested for taking juvenile to her house, letting him sleep in her bed


Tempestt Odum, 32, was arrested yesterday afternoon on charges of interfering with the custody of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

According to the arrest report, Odum is employed by Alachua County Public Schools as a bus driver. On the morning of January 20, a student who was already on campus at Mebane Middle School got on the bus and rode for the entire route, including picking up Santa Fe High School students and taking them to school. After all students were dropped off, Odum drove the bus to the bus depot, where she and the juvenile got off the bus together.

Odum then allegedly drove the juvenile to Wendy’s and McDonald’s to get something to eat, then took him to her house where another juvenile was reportedly asleep in her bed. Following a complaint from a parent, an Alachua Police Department (APD) officer went to Odum’s residence at about 11:00 a.m. After he knocked on the door several times, the juvenile ran out the back door, where he was detained by APD officers. After the juvenile had left the house, Odum answered the door. It was later learned that the other juvenile was still in the house, sleeping in Odum’s bed.

Investigators found that both juveniles have skipped school on multiple days and were at Odum’s residence. While speaking to officers, Odum reportedly denied that the first juvenile was ever at her house. She told officers that she had allowed him to ride on the bus, took him to eat, and then dropped him off back at the school.

Officers also viewed the video from the school bus, reportedly hearing a conversation in which Odum said she had allowed the second juvenile to sleep in her bed on multiple days.

In a second interview on January 21, Odum reportedly confirmed that she did not have permission to take the juvenile from Mebane Middle School and that he had been at her residence when officers were there the previous day.

Mebane Middle School sent an email to parents at 4:30 p.m. on January 20 that read, “A bus driver who transports Mebane Middle School students is being placed on administrative leave while the district investigates a complaint from a parent. The complaint is also being investigated by the Alachua Police Department. I can’t share any details about this situation while it’s under investigation, but if you have information you would like to share, please feel free to contact the school or APD.”

Odum has been charged with two counts of interfering with the custody of a minor, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one count of resisting an officer without violence. She is no longer in the Alachua County Jail.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • “No longer in the AC jail” what? A child predator of middle school kids! Not even high schoolers!!! I guess cashless bail does the trick. Wonder why criminals aren’t deterred? Duh, will be out in hours, just like the nut that drove into a parade. What if it was a man with several 7th graders sleeping in his bed. Same thing. Obviously she’s got a thing for young boys. A molester that can’t be cured.

  • She’s far from a molester. They have this story all twisted. She’s a parent before anything. She loves all the kids and the community. She makes sure these kids aren’t hungry, helps keep them out the streets, take them to play basketball, she lets them do small work to put money in their pocket. If you knew the goddess of this woman heart you would know why the children love her, boys and girls. For Christmas she gave out gifts to at least 20 students. She celebrates their birthdays as well. We need more drivers that cares about the students instead of the sit down and shut up drivers. I’m behind this woman 100%.

    • I knew there had to be more to this story. She didn’t sound like a predator to me. It’s a shame that someone doing a good deed has to go to jail. I hope she’s able to find another job and beat these charges. She shouldn’t be letting them skip school at her house though. I’m sure these kids take advantage of her kindness and the parents get jealous.

    • But why not let there parents know about this also it seems that some missed school and she didn’t care

  • Truly caring would mean teaching them that they should be in school. Not skipping and hanging out with people their parents don’t know.

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