Macon County sits at the far west of North Carolina, on the border with Georgia. And while the county boasts some of the most picturesque landscape around, nothing much ever happens there. In fact Macon County’s biggest town, Franklin, has a population of just 3,898, while the county as a whole boasts a below-average crime risk.
Meanwhile, nearly 500 kids attend the South Macon Elementary School in Franklin. The school teaches children at pre-kindergarten level right up to Grade 4, while its students range in age from four to ten years old.
Early one June morning, Bradley had arrived at the elementary school for her usual pre-shift preparations. It was around 5:00 a.m. and so, naturally, she expected the school grounds to be deserted. And just like every other morning, Bradley started the engine of her bus to allow it to warm up while she entered the building.