A Georgia school bus driver has been terminated from his job after being caught on video violently shoving two siblings.
Their parents, Nequania and Blake Carter said they believe the assault was racially motivated. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office in Madison, Georgia, is investigating the incident.
Nequania Carter said her son and daughter, who are Black, are traumatized by the attack. The parents have removed them from the school.
“My children are afraid to ride the school bus ever again after this,” Nequania Carter said.
The 12-second video, which went viral on social media, shows an older, white male bus driver pushing the Carters’ 6-year-old son, who is wailing, on Sept. 9. His 10-year-old sister tries to intervene.
“Stop pushing my brother!” the girl yells.
Nequania Carter said the driver wanted the boy to sit in the back of the bus, but that’s where the high schoolers sit.
“Shut your mouth,” the driver responds to the older sibling in the video.
“Stop pushing — let him go,” she says.
“Get back there,” the driver barked to the girl.
“Get your hands off him,” she says.
“What a pain in the neck you guys are,” he says while shoving the older sibling. “Get back there!”
The video, which another student on the bus recorded, was shared thousands of times across social media. The Morgan County Charter School System said it “took immediate action,” suspending the driver at first and reporting the incident to the sheriff’s office.
On Sept. 14, a spokesperson for the school system told FOX 5 Atlanta that the driver was terminated. The children’s parents also want the school’s transportation manager, Alicia Lord, fired for blaming the driver’s behavior on the children.
“She said it was my son’s fault for calling out for his sister,” Nequania Carter said. “Of course, he called out for his sister. This man was pushing him, and he was scared. He’s only 6 years old.”
The Carters also accused Lord of dismissing previous complaints about the driver, allowing the environment to thrive. Nequania Carter said the driver, who has not been identified, had mocked her daughter during a previous interaction. The girl then threatened to tell her father about the mistreatment.
“I know other families have had problems with him, too,” she said. “We are not going to let this slide this time.”
Nequania Carter told Fox 5 that she had previously worked as a school bus driver and never got physical with a student. Now, her children, who had to trust the driver to transport them each school day, are emotionally scarred.
“They had trouble sleeping at night. They are afraid to ride the bus. My son asked his father to ride the bus with him every day to keep him safe because he is afraid,” she said. “My daughter was in shock that he pushed her like that. They kept asking, ‘What did we do that was wrong? Why doesn’t he like us?'”
It isn’t clear yet if the driver will be charged. Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Howard said the office is in the initial stages of the investigation.
“We are going to investigate and follow the fact,” Howard said. “We are going to talk to everybody involved and discuss the options with the District Attorney’s office to see where to go from there.”