School bus driver placed on 2-day leave after pepper spraying student who punched her in the face
BATON ROUGE - A 16-year-old student was ticketed after punching a bus driver in the face before the driver sprayed them with mace or pepper spray.
WBRZ first reported on the incident and the wild video that captured it May 11. The video was posted by a social media account that shares videos of fights that happen inside schools.
The video shared shows the Tara High campus in the background and a school bus marked East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. The video was posted shortly after school ended for the day.
The video shows the student arguing with a bus driver. Eventually, the student steps onto the bus and hits the driver. The two began to shove each other and the driver sprays the student with pepper spray.
The school system met with the driver and the student with East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputies May 12. During the meeting, drivers gathered outside to support the driver.
The driver was not criminally charged. The school system has not said if the driver will be disciplined at work.
The teenager was issued a court summons for battery.
East Baton Rouge Parish School System sent previously released a statement May 11:
This matter is currently under investigation by district and law enforcement personnel. At approximately 3:00 PM it appears that a physical altercation took place between a EBRPSS Bus Driver and a high school student. According to recordings, it appears that the altercation began after a student threw a water bottle from the moving bus, the bus driver then stopped the bus to determine who threw the bottle. The driver and several students reported that the student seen in the video then attempted to hit the bus driver who responded by using pepper spray on the student. The employee seen in the video was placed on immediate administrative leave, pending an internal investigation. The student will be disciplined in accordance with the Student’s Right and Responsibilities Handbook.
According to the Department of Communications & Public Relations for the East Baton Rouge School System, the bus driver received a letter of reprimand and was placed on a 2-day administrative leave while the incident was investigated.
The department also said this was an "isolated incident" and that school bus drivers in the district will not be allowed to carry pepper spray