A Dallas mother was devastated watching the video of her 5-year-old being pushed, pulled, poked with a pencil, and grabbed around the head by at least two students on the bus in about 14 minutes on a small school bus on Nov. 11, 2019.
Audrey Billings, the mother, said she reached out to her child’s school district after her 5-year-old daughter said students were hurting her. Billings said she spoke to the principal and was initially only given the “play by play” of what occurred.
Finally, she was asked to pay $600 to see the video. And what she saw left her crushed.
Her daughter was shown trying to fight back against the other students. She called out to the bus driver several times during the assault and started crying as she continued to get hit. The video doesn’t show if the driver responded, as the video does not show the entire bus ride.
It is not clear from the video what prompted the children’s actions or physical contact.
Billings told CNN after seeing the video on Saturday, Jan. 11, that she wanted a major change to the Independent School District’s bullying policy and its procedures for handling bullying incidents.
Responding to the incident, Dallas ISD spokeswoman Robyn L. Harris said the bus driver was immediately removed from the route and students were disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct.
“Dallas ISD has taken steps to improve our transportation services to further ensure the safety of students. The district has provided additional training and monitoring. We are dedicated to ensuring a safe environment for all students and remain committed to meeting the expectations of our parents and community.” Harris said in a statement.
Her daughter no longer rides the bus, Billings said.