CONCORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — An 84-year-old school bus driver was recently attacked by a student on a school bus at West Cabarrus High School in Concord, according to a police incident report.
It’s unclear what prompted the attack.
The bus driver told Queen City News anchor Robin Kanady on Tuesday that he is doing OK and that the incident has not stopped him from continuing to do his job.
The attack happened last Monday while the bus driver was at the school waiting for students to get off the bus, according to Concord Police. That’s when the police report says a student approached the driver and punched him in the face.
Concord Police said the student faces a criminal charge, which will be handled through juvenile services.
Queen City News asked Cabarrus County Schools the extent of the driver’s injuries and if the student was disciplined, and the district said its can’t comment on personnel issues or student discipline.
The district has also yet to answer whether there were cameras on the bus or if they recorded the incident, but it did release the following statement:
“This is an on-going matter, and we are cooperating with local law enforcement to provide any information that we have.
Student and staff safety is a top priority for Cabarrus County Schools. We are taking appropriate internal actions to provide for a safe environment on our buses.
These actions include utilizing adult bus monitors as necessary, buses equipped with cameras, and bus driver professional development.
As you are aware, we cannot comment further on personnel issues or incidents involving student discipline.”
One West Cabarrus High School parent hopes the bus driver can work safely from now on.
“You’re sitting there, you’re a sitting duck,” Victor Turner said. “There’s just no reason, in my view, to go after somebody who can’t defend themselves.”
Turner said his daughter rides a different bus at West Cabarrus High School.
“I don’t like seeing anybody being that violent, especially when there’s no provocation,” he said.
The attack hits close to home for Turner.
“I actually have a cousin in Kentucky who had to retire,” Turner said. “She was a bus driver, and she got attacked by a student’s mother. That was just an ugly situation. She was not able to continue working after that.”
Turner said it’s not always easy to trust that his daughter will be OK.
“As much as I don’t want her to be at risk at all, I understand we all have to live our lives, you know,” he said.
He’s grateful for school bus drivers like the 84-year-old who transport students daily.
“I just hope that he’s able to be as safe as possible in his work environment, and that goes for anybody,” Turner said.