Middle schooler charged in alleged school bus assault - WSMV Channel 4

Middle schooler charged in alleged school bus assault

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Two first-graders say they were kicked, punched and duct-taped by a classmate on the ride home from school this week in Franklin County.

What's worse is the students say it happened within view of the bus driver who did nothing to stop it.

Brett Hill said his 7-year-old daughter, Judah, came home from school bruised and red.

"Just as soon as I asked her the first question, she started crying and shaking," Hill said.

Judah was on the bus headed home from school when she said a seventh-grader from North Middle School began calling her names and attacked her.

"He reaches up and slaps her so hard you can see fingerprints on her face," Hill said.

Judah then said the boy stood up in the aisle and kicked her in the leg, leaving a big bruise.

"And it don't stop there. He pulls out a roll of duct tape, tears off a piece and tapes her mouth shut," Hill said.

When Judah's friend told the boy to stop, she said he punched her, too.

Hill said the assaults on the two first-graders happened in the front row, right behind the bus driver's seat. But, the dad said, the bus driver did nothing.

The seventh-grade student was arrested Friday morning for the alleged assault.

"There have been some charges against the juvenile. He has been taken into custody and transported to juvenile court," said Franklin County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Guess.

But what Hill said infuriates him most about what allegedly happened is his daughter had the means to protect herself.

"Right now, she's a black belt in taekwondo," he said.

Judah told her dad she was afraid to hit the boy back because of the state's zero tolerance policy that says students involved in a fight will face disciplinary action. She said she expected the bus driver to step in and help.

"He allowed it to escalate to two girls getting badly hurt and their mouths duct-taped while he sat by and did nothing, so it's another policy that's not being enforced to protect kids," Hill said.

The director of Franklin County Schools said the accused child is no longer attending the school system, and an investigation into the bus driver's actions is under way.

The sheriff's department said it is also looking into whether the accused student may have hurt other children.

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