CHARLOTTE — A Rocky River High School student is accused of assaulting a bus driver and a bus monitor, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools confirmed.
Channel 9 obtained cell phone video of the incident which, though we’ve blurred much of it, may be difficult to watch.
From where the video starts, a student who is visibly upset can be seen talking with a bus driver. Nearby, a female student yells out, suggesting things are about to turn violent.
“We up in here,” she says.
Then, as phones are whipped out, things escalate. After trying twice to shove a bus monitor down the bus stairs, the student attacks -- throwing punches and pulling the hair of the bus monitor until only the driver steps in to help.
The driver gets a dose of the same beating.
“Yo, somebody help the bus driver man,” you can hear on the video.
In a message to families, the principal said law enforcement was called in for the incident, which happened Thursday, and that an investigation is underway.
“This behavior is disruptive to learning and a violation of the CMS Code of Student Conduct,” the message reads. “Any student involved in the incident will be disciplined accordingly. The safety of our students and staff remains a top priority.”
School officials asked parents to speak with their children about their behavior and to remind them actions have serious consequences.
Officials didn’t say whether the student would be charged. There was no information made immediately available about the seriousness of the injuries to the bus driver and bus monitor.
Stop the violence
“This is an assault case. This ain’t no suspension,” said Will Adams, founder of Team Tru Blue, an organization that helps at-risk kids stay on the right path. “I really don’t get it. I’m confused at how it’s to the point where a child can get up and do that. And it’s OK?”
Adams said the rate of students involved in violent incidents is increasing at an alarming rate.
“When do we start handing out harsh punishment for actions, such as that?” Adams questioned. “When do we send the message ‘enough is enough?’ When you instill love and hope into a child, then they know right from wrong.”
Channel 9 has received numerous emails from people who said they were CMS faculty and staff. They said that they don’t feel safe or supported by the district.
“We, as a board, have to make sure we create a framework that protects our students and our staff so that they feel safe,” said Dee Rankin, a member of the CMS Board of Education.
Rankin proposes the district take a harsher zero-tolerance policy for students when it comes to violence, such as the attack on the bus.
“We may have to identify a place where they can go and receive a positive and good education, but if you think that those types of acts are OK, then CMS may not be the place for you,” Rankin said.
Rankin also said that students are in violation if they record such acts of violence on their phones.
“I know there’s a policy that’s been passed to where students that record these certain things can receive the same discipline as the students that are participating,” Rankin said
It’s an epidemic of violence that’s plaguing school districts locally, statewide, and across the nation.
“The education system and working with kids is already tough, so now when you have an incident like this, it makes it much more difficult to recruit and retain good talent,” Rankin said.
One parent Channel 9′s Madison Carter spoke with Friday said she’s heard about bus fights over and over. She said what happened on the way home from school was nothing new.
“It’s awful,” Joyce Griffin said.
Griffin said incidents like this are why her daughter will never ride the bus.
“I do not want her on the bus cause of all the fights and violence that’s been happening lately,” she said.
She said she will continue to drive her daughter to school until she graduates from high school.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
(WATCH BELOW: Video shows Anson High School principal put student in headlock during fight)
©2023 Cox Media Group