School leaders are investigating a brutal attack on a bus driver on the way to Albert Hill Middle School.
The driver was taking students to the school around 8 a.m. Tuesday when he had to pull the breaks because the students were attacking him while he was behind the wheel, according to school officials. He stopped at the intersection of Sheppard Street and Idlewood Avenue. A bus monitor said the driver was being attacked so badly he couldn't make it any further.
"It's a dangerous position to be in," said shop steward and bus monitor Hilda Davis. "To be attacked like that is a terrible thing to anybody. I feel all these drivers' pain. You know, it's a risk and somebody needs to be held accountable. I don't like this at all."
Davis has been in the business 21 years. She's seen her fair share of poor school bus behavior, but Tuesday's incident has her speaking up.
"You cannot have these drivers be attacked by children," said Davis. "It's unfair for us. We have families that love us and we want to go home safely to our families too."
Davis says she's also unsettled by the early warning signs, claiming her supervisor talked with school officials previously regarding unruly students onboard.
"Can't no one say they weren't aware of this situation," Davis added. "My thing now is when are they going to fix it and do something about it before the next bus driver is attacked."
School officials sent us a statement saying: "We are taking this matter seriously and are working expeditiously with the Richmond Police Department to conduct a full investigation. Once we complete our investigation, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. The safety and security of both our students and staff are paramount to our mission of promoting student achievement. The alleged misconduct will not be tolerated and those who exhibit such conduct will meet swift and appropriate discipline.
They also sent a message to parents that said: "I am calling to inform you of an incident that occurred this morning on bus #24. We received a report that there was an altercation involving several students and the driver. Based on preliminary reports, the altercation stemmed from improper behavior of a few students. We ask for your support and assistance as we continue with our investigation. Please speak with your child(ren) about correct behavior while riding the bus. To ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff while en route to and from school, we ask that students remain in their seats, refrain from throwing objects, and speak quietly during the bus ride. Thank you for your assistance as we continue to look into this matter.
Other than serious facial and head injuries, the school bus driver is going to be fine. One student was detained in the attack, but school leaders haven't notified us of any charges.
The school bus monitor also said the school system is looking over surveillance video captured on the bus.
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