An elementary school bus driver in Georgia was slapped by a parent after allegedly forcing the students to remain on the bus, prompting some children to climb out of the windows of the bus at a notoriously busy intersection, viral videos show.
The Paulding County School District school bus driver confirmed that school bus driver has since been suspended, while police continue to investigate an altercation between the substitute driver and parents, according to WSB-TV.
Driver Refused To Let Students Off The Bus, Prompting Students To Climb Out Of Bus Windows
The fight reportedly occurred on Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Old Harris Road and Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway, where there’s a bus stop for students at Allgood Elementary.
Several viral TikTok videos show some parents telling their children how to climb out of the window, with one parent seen banging on the door in an effort to get the bus driver to open it.
Apparently she requested ID from parents & some didn't have it so she didn't let the kids off. She then decided to drive back to the school with the kids on it after this. Some parents decided to go after her, stop the bus & get their kids off themselves pic.twitter.com/dyM1Zzm9gU
— Ichigo Niggasake (@SomaKazima) January 20, 2023
A separate video obtained by WSB-TV shows another parent slapping the bus driver in the face, who then sits down and closes the door before driving off with children in tow.
Additional footage of the incident shows kids sticking their heads out of the bus windows as they can be heard screaming for help.
Substitute School Bus Driver Refused To Hand Over Kids To Parents, Citing ID Rule At Drop-Off
Officials with the Paulding County Schools told the outlet that the bus’s regular driver had called out sick that day, which explains the presence of a substitute driver.
The district said its drop-off process, which involves parents providing ID in order to get their kids off the bus, was “backed up,” as the driver tried to drop off the younger students first.
“A backup resulted, and the situation soon escalated as parents waited at the stop for their students,” the district said in a statement.
Some parents went so far as to use their vehicles to block the school bus from leaving with their children, creating a traffic jam as authorities arrived on scene, according to Dallas Assistant Police Chief Bill Gorman.
Gorman added responding officers saw traffic backed up, a vehicle blocking a school bus and some extremely irate parents.
Students Ultimately Arrive Home Safely, Police Investigation Ongoing Officials Say
The students ultimately arrived home safely with help from a supervisor, a spokesperson for Paulding County schools said.
However, parents said there should definitely be consequences for the substitute school bus driver’s behavior, with one citing how close the bus stop is to a nearby major highway.
“That’s so unsafe, and all of the traffic on 278 is rushing by at 60 mph,” one parent said. “That’s crazy.”
Dallas police is currently handling the investigation, which remains ongoing. Police are asking anyone with more information on the incident to email investigator Lt. Selleck at firstname.lastname@example.org.