A student from Franklin Township Middle School East in Indiana has been arrested after a cell phone video of a vicious school bus fight was posted to Facebook last week.
The fight broke out when one student had taken a seat on the bus that another wanted. The second demanded, "get out of this seat." A student who witnessed the fight told RTV6 that a 14-year-old was pushed into his seat, hitting his head against the window. The video shows a series of shoving, punching and struggling.
The victim was taken to the hospital to receive stitches. The 15-year-old student who punched the teen was arrested on charges of battery and disorderly conduct, Fox 59 reports.
According to RTV6, a post below the video on Facebook that police believe was written by the fight's instigator reads "lmao dat lil [expletive] dat wassnt nun i hit him three times nun major yaa-noo."
Now, the victim's mother Lora Hoagland is furious and is calling for the boy's expulsion. She also successfully led a fight last year to keep the district from charging families for busing.
"Tears came to my eyes. I'm angry that someone could do that to another human being," Hoagland told WISH-TV. "I helped to fight get those buses back. I'm fighting for parents to get reimbursements back, and that includes this boy's family and that boy."
Hoagland and community members are wondering why it took so long for the adult on the bus to intervene. Mike LaRocco, director of the Office of School Transportation with the Indiana Department of Education, tells the Indianapolis Star that state law allows schools to write their own busing policies. District policy, in this case, calls for drivers to refrain from intervention without backup assistance.
In a statement Friday, district officials said they are "taking appropriate and swift action regarding this matter" and are following safety protocols.
After reviewing the footage, LaRocco tells the Star that he believes the bus driver did the right thing and was "perfectly appropriate in her actions."
"It's a typical kid thing [to get in school bus altercations]," LaRocco said. "That's the nature of kids being together in a confined area."
Watch the raw footage below. WARNING: the video depicts violent images.
CLARIFICATION: The identity of the victim, a minor named by RTV6, has been redacted from an earlier version of this piece. We regret the oversight.
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