The Short of It
A mom thinks a bus driver failed her 11-year-old son, who was beaten on the way to school by bullies.
"All I remember was my head getting slammed into the seat and then me falling to the ground," sixth-grader Clay Heartly told Fox 31 Denver. He said he was knocked unconscious twice when a bully attacked him on the bus ride to school. "We wrestled a little bit, then he pushed me down and just, like, started slamming my head into the seat."
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The attack took place on Jan. 29, and now Clay's mother Lachelle is demanding some answers. She said her son came home early from school the day of the attack complaining of a headache, but he couldn't remember what happened. It wasn't until a week later that the school contacted her to view a video of the incident.
"They're dragging him to the back of the bus unconscious," she said. "I don't know how long he was laying there."
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After seeing what went down, Lachelle rushed Clay to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a concussion. But what's even more troubling to the mom is that the video shown to her by the school had clearly been altered.
"It was snippets," she said. "They cut and pasted what they wanted me to see. And I would just like to see the entire thing."
I don't blame her!
Aurora Public Schools told Fox 31 they're not releasing the video due to student privacy laws. But Lachelle wants to see it because she's not convinced the bus driver did anything to protect her son or help him after the incident.
"If he was paying attention, this might not have happened," Clay said.
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This is a horrible situation, and school bus bullying is a growing concern among parents. When the only adult on the bus is the driver, the kids are vulnerable to intimidation because the driver can't react to every incident while he or she is operating the vehicle.
Clay suggests that an adult monitor should be on every bus to assist drivers in supervision. Aurora Public Schools does use adult monitors, but not on every route. I couldn't agree more. Why isn't this a law, yet?
The school district said in a statement that it "took appropriate disciplinary action for the students involved, but due to privacy laws we cannot discuss the details." Assault and battery charges have been filed against one of the two students suspected in the attack, according to Aurora police.