Driver gone, but investigation continues
By Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend ISD’s Bowie Middle School is the one attended by a 12-year old girl, a 7th grader, who according to reports alleges being punched, choked, and dragged by a school district bus driver. “The district takes this matter very seriously,” said Chief Communications Officer Nancy Porter. She said the bus driver is no longer employed by the school district and since the investigation involves personnel issues and the minor status of the student, privacy issues prevent FBISD from further disclosure.
The 12-year old student on the school bus was asked to step out of the vehicle for calling someone the “b” word, which an account indicates was done by someone else, a friend of hers. After a verbal exchange, “She was just punching me and then she starts choking me and pushes me everywhere,” said the 12-year old in a news account.
The incident took place last week on Monday afternoon, Dec. 5, after students were let out and a female bus driver and the student from the middle school “were involved in an altercation on a bus at the school,” confirms Porter.
Reports indicate that there were onlookers that witnessed the fight, about 12 students on the bus, and a video clip taken afterwards shows the agitated 12-year old talking to an adult identified as a school administrator. They are both outside the bus which is in front of the school. The bus driver aboard the bus is seen attentively looking at what seems to be the two of them.
Should an arrest follow? An interview with the girl’s mother calls attention to a double standard in which she maintains that a similar incident involving her would have had the police called on her, and she would have been jailed immediately for what her daughter endured.
Bus driver/student altercations are not isolated incidents. Situations in other parts of the country depending on the gravity of an incident result in felony and misdemeanor assault charges with possible jail time for either or both parties. Porter said student safety is their highest priority, and that FBISD is fully cooperating in the investigation. “We will continue to do everything possible to maintain a safe learning environment for our students,” she said.