A school bus driver is no longer driving students and a stepmother is facing assault charges after a seven-year-old child was attacked on a Clarksville school bus that was headed to St. Bethlehem Elementary School.
The incident happened April 25, but News 2 was unable to obtain video of the incident until Wednesday.
According to school officials, two students were involved in an altercation before boarding the bus. One of the children is the daughter of Kela Hand’s partner.
The little girl ran home and told Hand that one of the kids on the bus hit her.
Hand, 22, then boarded the school bus. Video from inside the bus shows Hand yelling at students.
“You touch my baby?” She can be heard asking. “Who was it?”
Then the little girl points out a seven-year-old boy.
“You touch my baby again I will f*%! your little a%! up,” she is heard telling the little boy.
After nearly five minutes, Hand leaves the bus.
The school resource officer later charged Hand with one count of disorderly conduct and two counts of assault.
She is free on bond. When News 2 contacted her by phone she did not want to comment on her arrest and no one came to her door when we tried to reach her at home.
The bus driver was suspended without pay for two days and assigned to an alternative job assignment without pay for five days.
“In all the years our transportation manager has been here this has never happened before where an adult has gotten on a bus and accosted children verbally and physically,” CMCSS spokeswoman Elise Shelton said. “This is never something you expect to happen.”
Shelton said the bus driver did some things correctly like radio dispatch, but she did not stay on the radio with dispatch or keep Hand and other parents from boarding the school bus.
School policy dictates that parents not board the bus and instead talk to the driver through the driver’s side window.
The driver has been permanently reassigned to driving for the school’s nutrition department.
“We just feel at this time she is not going to be able to handle a situation should it occur,” Shelton said. “Not that it will occur again, but since we have had it happen we want to make sure our drivers can handle that situation.”
This same driver was reprimanded in February when in a separate incident another parent boarded her school bus.
In addition to the criminal charges against Hand, she is banned from all school property and the school bus.