How Richmond Co. schools handle bus bullying

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News 12 This Morning

September 3, 2013

RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW)--"Every morning he cries," said Wanda Williams.

Williams says since school started her 5-year-old, Kyle, tells her he's being bullied on the bus ride home.

"Tuesday he got off of the school bus and it was the worst," she explained.

She says Kyle came home with a swollen eye. She worries even more about her son's safety because of his medical problems.

"He's actually got tracheomalacia. His windpipe is flat," she explained. "So if these kids would have hit him five inches down his face and hit him in his throat, they could've killed my son."

Williams says she then went to the school principal with her issues and school officials say they've worked to resolve it. But, the bigger question is --how does an issue like this get resolved?
"We're here for the kids. We absolutely want them to have a good experience," said Tim Spivey, Richmond County Schools Deputy Superintendent.

Deputy Superintendent Tim Spivey says Williams made the right call going to the school principal...and that's what he advises any parent.

"The best option is to contact the school," he said. "Do not take matters into your own hands and confront the bus driver. Go to the school and talk to the principal and let the principal handle it at that point."

From there, many times principals can "watch" what took place on that bus with a couple of options.

"Probably 95 percent of our buses have cameras on the front and the rear," he explained. "If they feel like its necessary they can pull video off the bus and see what's going on. We can put a monitor on the bus. We can actually move the driver to a different route if we feel like that's the problem."

Kyle's mother, like most parents dealing with something like this for the first time, wasn't sure what to do. But late last week, for the first time in days, Kyle rode the bus home problem free.

Officials tell us a bus monitor has been placed on Kyle's bus. We're told a monitor usually rides the bus up to two weeks and, by then, for most kids that changes how they act on the bus.

When that doesn't help, parents are encouraged to continue working on steps with the school. We talked with Kyle's principal who says she's even ridden buses to monitor what's going on if she's had to.

And, if they need to pull a bully off the bus, they will.

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