A Georgia school bus driver has been suspended following an altercation with parents that turned physical.
According to WSBTV, the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon in Paulding County, Georgia, as Allgood Elementary students were making their way home. A viral TikTok video showed the bus parked at a busy intersection while several adults pulled the children from the windows and the emergency exit.
Sources said the video was filmed after a parent confronted the driver for refusing to let students off the vehicle. A video of the altercation showed the driver standing up and screaming at the unidentified adult. Moments later, the parent seemingly slapped the substitute, prompting her to return to her seat, shut the bus door, and drive away. However, one parent claimed it was the driver who initiated the physical violence.
Samantha Lee, the mother of an 8-year-old student who was on the bus, said the substitute wouldn’t let students off because they did not have the proper identification tags that let the driver know where each student can be dropped off. Lee said three parents then entered the bus to retrieve their children, and it was at that time the driver allegedly struck one of the parents.
“She takes her left hand and she assaults the parent right here on her neck,” said Lee, adding that the parent quickly hit the driver back. “I think in the moment it was like, ‘Smack! Smack.’ … She closes the doors and it was kind of like, ‘OK, I can’t tame you guys, so I’ll take your kids now. And she had a smirk on her face and drove away with our kids.”
Lee continued: “I keep replaying, seeing my daughter hanging out the window and screaming at the top of her lungs, and I couldn’t do anything to prevent that, you know? The whole thing has been very emotional for me.”
Parents eventually called the police, who ensured all students returned home safely.
Officials with the Paulding County School District said they’ve since suspended the driver as they conduct an internal investigation. Police told 11Alive the driver could face criminal charges.
Watch footage of the incident below.
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
@sierrapb kids screaming for help in school bus and jumping out of the windows. bus driver wont open door. #pauldingcounty #fyp #whatshappening ? original sound – si si ???
@3dassortments Here is the full video from the paulding county school bus incident. At this time no one really knows the true answer as to why the kids were not let off the bus. The school district has suspended the substitute driver, nothing further has been said. I will update with answers when I hear more! #pauldingcountygeorgia #pauldingcounty ##pauldingcountyschooldistrict##pauldingcountyschoolbus#pauldingcountyschoolbusincident ? original sound – Dylan