A Georgia faculty bus driver has been arrested after video captured him shoving two college students, an assault their mom believed was racially motivated.
Cell telephone footage of the altercation went viral on social media. The video taken by one other pupil on the bus confirmed James O’Neil, a driver for the Morgan County Charter School System in Georgia, forcefully pushing the 6-year-old and 10-year-old Black college students.
Nequania Carter, the kids’s mother, stated the dispute started when O’Neil, who’s white, ordered her 6-year-old son to take a seat at the back of the bus.
“I don’t understand why he told him to sit in the back of the bus being that’s where the high schoolers are,” Carter stated to The Morgan County Citizen. “The primary [students] normally sit right behind the bus driver.”
According to Carter, her son began crying for his 10-year-old sister.
In the video, the older sibling yelled, “Stop pushing my brother.”
The 6-year-old wailed as O’Neil appeared to throw him right into a seat.
“Shut your mouth,” the motive force stated to the 10-year-old, pointing to the again of the bus. “Get back there.”
He proceeded to push her too, inflicting the woman to stumble backward.
“What a pain in the neck you guys are. Get out of here. Get back there,” he stated.
The pupil’s mother believed her kids had been victims of a discriminatory assault, perpetrated by a employees member who was supposed to guard them.
“We do believe this was racially motivated,” she stated. “This is not the first time we have complained about this bus driver harassing our children.”
Over one-third of U.S. highschool college students (35.6 %) have reported experiencing dangerous or unfair therapy in class due to their race or ethnicity, in line with a 2021 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Perceived racism was highest amongst Asian college students (63.9 %), Black college students (55.2 %) and multiracial college students (54.5 %).
Virgil Cole, superintendent of the Morgan County Charter School System, instructed Newsweek the district took “immediate action” upon studying of the incident and notified the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
“The bus driver was terminated on Monday, September 12,” stated Cole. “We certainly take all incidents involving any student and our staff seriously and we will work quickly and directly to address them. We will not tolerate any inappropriate behavior or actions towards our students.”
On September 16, sheriff’s deputies arrested O’Neil on two counts of easy battery.
“While this was not a complex investigation, it was complicated by the allegations that the incident was perceived as being racially motivated,” Morgan County Chief Deputy Keith Howard instructed Newsweek. “Investigators took additional time to investigate all the facts to include consulting with prosecutors in the Ocmulgee Judicial Court.”
“At the conclusion of the investigation, investigators could not establish a nexus that the incident was racially motivated,” stated Howard.
However, Carter stated she has pulled her kids out of the Morgan County Charter School System. She believed that O’Neil was solely fired due to public strain surrounding the viral video.
“We feel like he was terminated because the story got more coverage than the Morgan County Charter School System would have liked,” she stated to The Morgan County Citizen.