Student claims driver punched him on bus - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Scott County, MO

Student claims driver punched him on bus

By Christy Hendricks

SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - You've heard of fights on school buses, but what abour when the driver is accused of throwing a punch?

In Scott County, a Kelly Freshman is making that claim, following his ride home Friday afternoon and now the bus driver in question is on leave.

Reno Sanchez says it started over a coat he tried to put in lost and found on the bus.  Then he says things got out of hand.

Now the school is looking for answers.

"He punched my son," said Tonya Sanchez, Reno's mother. "He was actually physically hurting my son."

Tonya  Sanchez wants the district to take action after she says things got out of hand on her son's bus ride home Friday.

Her son, Reno says it all started after he tried to put a coat in the lost and found box two different times.

He says after the second time the driver got up and put the coat back in his seat.

"Smashed it right in my face and I was like, so I push his arm out of the way and right when I pushed his arm out of the way," Reno said. "He grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out of the seat.  I pushed his arm out of the way again cause he had my hair.  Then he started hitting me.  First, he was slapping me like bare hand then he balled up his fist and started hitting me."

As Jared Dockins waited for his two daughters to get home from school, he says the bus driver put the bus in park and got out of his seat.

"My neighbor all of a sudden started yelling 'Quit hitting the kid. Quit hitting the kid." And I turned around and witnessed the bus driver punching the kid with his fists," Dockins said. 

Dockins says he got the driver to sit down and took Reno, his brother and a friend off the bus and called authorities.

Now the driver is on leave while the school conducts its own investigation.

"We're just now starting and interviewing the adults involved and try to come up with the facts," said Kelly Schools Superintendent Don Moore. "We want the actual facts on what happened so that's what we're trying to do now."

The school resource officer is talking to everyone who may have witnessed the incident.

Moore says after all the facts are gathered, the school will take appropriate action.

The school is working with the Scott County Sheriff's Department.  No charges have been filed but the sheriff says they are still interviewing witnesses.

Heartland News contacted the bus driver, but he did not want to comment at the time.

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