Video of a fight on a school bus raises questions

CITRONELLE, Ala. – Kids fighting on a school bus can create a dangerous environment for students and the driver.

So, when a viewer sent us video of a disturbing fight on a Mobile County school bus we decided to investigate. Here’s what she discovered.

The students in the video are from Rosa Lott Middle School in Citronelle.
Two girls on the bus started fighting while other students yelled, cheered, and videotaped the scene on their cell phones.

But when some adults saw the video they wanted to know why the driver didn’t appear to stop the bus, or intervene in any way.

The viewer sent Fox Ten News about a one minute recording of the fight that was still going on when the video stopped. So, we don’t know when the fight ended, and from the video there’s no way to know when the driver stopped the bus.

But school official said the video only showed a small portion of what happened, and they’re confident the bus driver did exactly what she was supposed to do in that situation.

We showed the video to Transportation Director Pat Mitchell. He said there was a good reason the bus driver didn’t pull over immediately.

“The fight actually started before the bus even left the school campus. The fight as soon as the students loaded the bus at the rear of the school. The bus hadn’t left the school yet, so what the driver did was continue to drive around to the front of the school to get assistance from administrators,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the two girls seen fighting had gotten into a fight in the school. They were actually walked onto the bus by an administrator who put one girl in back and the other in front. On the video you can see the student come from the back of the bus.

Mitchell said the the driver followed the rules for that kind of situation.

“Drivers don’t administer discipline. So, if you have a situation of unruly children, or in this case a fight that breaks out. in most cases we ask the driver to try to gain control if they can. if not pull the bus over to a safe location and seek assistance from authorities, whether that be school administrators or law enforcement. In this case the bus was still at the school,” he said.

Based on our information it looks like it’s the students who could be in trouble with the school system, not the bus driver.

Mitchell said most school buses, including the one in this incident have video cameras on them. It’s still unclear if the bus camera recorded the fight.

Mitchell also said all of the buses are equipped with cell phones for emergencies.

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