Police officers in Oklahoma are investigating a viral video that appears to show a boy being bullied.
“The video was taken by another student and shows a boy crying and begging the bus driver to let him stay on the bus. The boy also begs the driver to let him off at his house, rather than at the bus stop,” according to KFSM, an Oklahoma broadcaster.
“In the video, the boy is completely terrified. You can also hear the driver yell at the young boy to get off of the bus. After being forced off of the bus, the boy is immediately chased and attacked by an older student.”
The cellphone footage shows punches being thrown.
“The video is alarming itself and obviously, it’s enough to start an investigation,” said Major Rod Howell of the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office, noting that investigators are trying to find additional cellphone footage.
They’re also looking at footage from two cameras that are on the bus as part of the investigation.
“We know there’s going to be more to it and there’s going to be more video and probably more angles too,” he added to KJRH.
Deputies have reached out to the bus driver and planned interviews with witnesses.
“We want to make sure we do our fact-finding, due diligence. Interview all of those witnesses, along with the bus driver,” Howell said. “We’ve reached out to the bus driver and obviously we’re not going to release his name at this time and then get a statement from him.”
— KFOR (@kfor) January 25, 2019
According to the Locust Grove bullying policy (pdf), “bullying of students by other students, personnel, or the public will not be tolerated.”
The policy is in effect while students are on school grounds, in school vehicles, at school-sponsored or -sanctioned activities, and at designated bus stops. The bullying incident in question took place at the Four Corners Church of God bus stop, according to News 6.
Possible punishment for students who bullied other students includes in-school suspension, the involvement of local authorities, and referral to a counselor.
The Locust Grove Public Schools said in a statement that the bullying incident took place on Jan. 17.
— Tulsa’s Channel 8 (@KTULNews) January 24, 2019
“The incident was turned over to law enforcement and the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a complete investigation,” it stated. “The student’s and the bus driver’s actions have been addressed internally.”
It’s not clear if the student who was bullied has gone back to school. It’s also not clear what exactly happened to the bus driver.
Howell told ABC 8 that the situation has been drawing lots of attention because parents are worried about bullying.
“Being a parent obviously first and being in law enforcement as well. We have kiddos who ride the bus every day in some form or fashion, and it kinda hits close to home,” he said.
Locals condemned the bus driver with one, Larry Brown, telling the outlet: “It was pretty stupid of the bus driver. He ought to be brought up on charges and, of course, fired.”
— StopBullying.Gov (@StopBullyingGov) January 22, 2019
According to Stop Bullying, a government group, 28 percent of students in the United States have experienced bullying while 70 percent of youth have seen bullying at school. Some 30 percent of respondents admitted to bullying in surveys, the group said.
In one study, about 49 percent of students in grades 4 through 12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the previous month.
“The most common types of bullying are verbal and social. Physical bullying happens less often. Cyberbullying happens the least frequently,” the group stated. “Most bullying takes place in school, outside on school grounds, and on the school bus. Bullying also happens wherever kids gather in the community. And of course, cyberbullying occurs on cell phones and online.”
The relationship between bullying and suicide is complex, according to Stop Bullying. While the vast majority of young people who are bullied don’t commit or attempt suicide, Stop Bullying said, “research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.”
From NTD News