Bullies are one of the worst things about childhood. They’re often cruel and do more psychological damage to a person than they realize. Recently, a Facebook post went viral which depicted a boy being mercilessly bullied on a school bus in Locust Grove, Oklahoma. The concrete details surrounding the incident have yet to be released as the Mayes County Sheriff’s department is still conducting an ongoing investigation.
Something very disturbing about the video – in addition to the cruelty of the bully – is the bus driver’s reaction, or lack thereof. The man made no attempt to separate the kids, or intervene to protect the kid being bullied. The bus driver only yelled at them to get off the bus. The boy was sobbing and begging, but was subsequently forced off the bus where he was unfortunately attacked.
Major Rod Howell of the Sherriff’s office gave an interview with 5News TV where he said investigations are still ongoing based off the 47-second video post. It was recorded by a student on the bus. He said, “The video is alarming itself and obviously, it’s enough to start an investigation.
In the video the sixth-grader can be heard crying in terror. “Are you gonna punch me? You’re gonna kill and try to punch me. No! Please! I don’t wanna go…” He is heard saying as he’s forced to get off the bus. In the video he’s being attacked by a ninth-grader, and it is also seems to be showing a couple of kids ganging up against him.
The boy tries to plead with the bus driver, telling him someone is trying to punch him. Instead, the driver tells him to get off at the stop. “Hey! Get out of here. Go! Get out of here,” the man is heard shouting at the child.
Moments later, the boy is forcefully removed from the bus and a hooded individual then pounces on him, punching him several times. That is where the video cuts off.
At the current moment, the bus driver’s motives for his actions are stll under investigation. Major Howell explained that another video recorded by a different student has been acquired. The two videos in conjunction with the surveillance cameras on board the bus will be used to get to the bottom of the investigation.
The school has released a brief statement on their Facebook page which reads:
“Locust Grove Public Schools had an incident take place January 17th on one of our school buses involving two students. The incident was turned over to law enforcement and the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a complete investigation. The students’ and bus driver’s actions have been addressed internally.”
No further details have been released at this time, yet understandably agitated parents are already reacting to the Facebook post, insisting that the bus driver be fired effective immediately as well as indefinite suspension for the bullies.
Bullying is a serious issue that should never be taken lightly. But unfortunately many children experience daily the same humiliation and terror that this boy had to experience, whether it’s in the classroom, the school hallways, or after school. It’s an unfortunate reality and sadly, when it goes on without the right intervention, bullying has been attributed to childhood depression and even suicide. It’s a big issue facing children and needs to be addressed with a collective effort. The state, school authorities, parents, teachers, and kids all have a responsibility to work together to keep bullies out of schools.
But more than that, kids need to have a safe environment where they feel they can speak out and ask for help when facing bullies. The is where state law and school boards need to really step up their game to help the victims of bullying. There is no more time for band-aid solutions that achieve nothing long-term. Everyone needs to do their part. And in the meantime, my sympathies are with the victims, I hope it gets better for them.
You can watch the full story here.