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Jacksonville Bus Driver Investigated For Harming Student
A Jacksonville School District bus driver is at the center of an investigation after the parents of an 8-year-old boy told police their son came home with scratches on his face.
"The video doesn't lie," Lt. Scott Jackson of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said. "If it's on film then you know, that's what it is."
But the video is not being released as the Morgan County Sheriff's Office pick up an investigation originally started by South Jacksonville Police.
“The report is that he abused a child on the bus," Jackson said.
The child told police he was laying on a bus seat when the bus driver pulled him up by the collar of his coat.
“He was choking me,” the boy said according to the report, and the boy's zipper scratched his face.
“They are serious allegations, but again, we'll look into it and see if there's any merit to it and go from there," Jackson said.
That means interviewing everyone who saw what happened and looking at the recording for answers.
“We pulled the video, looked at the video, looked at the video in all different ways," District 117 Human Resources Director Dana Kinley said. "Multiple administrators looked at the video."
District 117 said their investigation is complete. They said the video shows a clear picture of what happened. There is even audio, a requirement on every bus the district uses.
“It's not a bus company," Kinley said. "The buses are our fleet. The bus drivers are our employees."
The district claims the employee at the center of the investigation did nothing wrong, according to what they know so far.
“I can tell you that there are no drivers that have been terminated or put on suspension or anything as a result of this incident," Kinley said.
District 117 said every bus driver they hire undergoes a background check. They are also continuously trained throughout the year. One of the things they concentrate on is “Positive Behavior Interventions."
The district said it is okay for a bus driver to physically “direct” a student. For example, helping a student with a medical condition on and off a bus. However, it is not okay to physically harm a student.
The case was handed over from South Jacksonville Police to the Morgan County Sheriff's Office because of where they alleged incident took place.
As for the video, deputies will not release it until the investigation is complete.