An 8-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy from Michigan City, Indiana, have been charged with battery for beating up their female bus driver after being asked to stop throwing things on the bus.
The boys were on their way home Friday, riding in a school bus taking them back home from Springfield Elementary School, when they began tossing a lanyard back and forth between the seats.
When a 73-year-old bus monitor told them to stop playing around, one of the boys began verbally assaulting her. When she admonished him, the other boy chimed in as well, swearing at her and calling her names.
The 35-year-old bus driver, Shaunda Gilbert, eventually pulled the bus over to the side of the road in an attempt to get the boys to calm down. The 8-year-old informed her he was just going to get off the bus, but Gilbert blocked his path to the door.
This prompted the young boy to push Gilbert to the floor where he began pulling out her hair and slamming her head on the floor. After letting go of her hair, he started punching her in the upper body, assisted by the older boy who joined in with several kicks to Gilbert’s face and head.
A 19-year-old bus monitor stepped in, but was also attacked by the boys. With the help of a man who lived near where the bus had pulled over, the adults were able to get the boys somewhat under control before police arrived.
That man who helped the employees said the kids were wild, even after police showed up. One of them fought being handcuffed by police and once his hands were secured behind his back he dragged the cuffs down the length of the police cruiser.
The boys admitted to police that they beat the driver because they didn’t like being told what to do.
Both boys have been charged with battery and were returned to their parents with orders to be back in court on May 11th. If they do not show up for court, their parents will also be arrested.
LaPorte County Police Chief of Detectives John Boyd said that the video footage clearly shows the adults never retaliated against the two boys and ”just stood their ground and took it.”
Both boys are being disciplined under guidelines outlined in the school corporation’s code of responsible behavior, according to Michigan City Area Schools spokesperson Betsy Kohn.
Kohn said she could not release specifics because it was disciplinary matter.