School bus fight leads to arrests -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

School bus fight leads to arrests

April 22, 2008

Donalsonville-- It was last Wednesday afternoon when Ovetia Tucker got the bad news about her 4 children.  "I was at work. I got a phone call from my sister saying all my kids had been arrested and her daughter," Tucker says.  Her oldest daughter, 16-year-old Quanita says what started as an accident on the school bus, exploded quickly.  "My cousin was sitting 3 or 4 seats behind us and she threw my sister her homework, and when she threw it, it hit a little white boy in front of us and he turned around and started hitting my sister in the face with some paper," Quanita explains.  She says her sister, 12-year-old Ishma was about to hit the boy back when the bus driver called 911.

Police chief Jimmy Holt says, "Our officers responded, they boarded the bus. Everybody was standing up hollering. They asked them to sit down so the bus could go on its way. They refused so at that time they were brought off the bus, they were and handcuffed and brought back here."

What happened in the process of the arrest, parents and police disagree on.  "My daughter's back got hurt when the police got on the bus, put her knee in her back and slammed her on the floor. My son was thrown into a chair and then thrown onto the police car. Both of them had to go see the doctor. Her back is injured," says Tucker.  But Holt argues, "To my knowledge no students were injured. The only one was the bus driver was hit in the back and shoulder."

Parents also want to know why kids as young as 12 needed to be handcuffed.  Chief Holt explains, "Our policy is everyone transported in a patrol car is handcuffed. Its for their safety as well as ours." Six students were charged with civil disorder and released back to their parents. They'll go to juvenile court next month.




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