After refusing to let pupils leave with their parents unless they sat down and were quiet, a 68-year-old bus driver in Oklahoma was fired and now faces charges of child abuse and kidnapping.
Thomas Young worked for Broken Arrow Public Schools for almost a year before being released after the incident on October 13.
The district said that the event occurred because the bus driver was on a new route and that there had been no prior complaints about Young.
The district’s video film shows Young attempting to calm down a rowdy bus full of middle schoolers who are yelling at each other.
Young parked the bus on East 61st Street and Lynn Lane in Broken Arrow, and in the ensuing nine minutes, the pupils could be heard desperately yelling for assistance. Young is seen blocking a child’s escape from the bus at one moment by extending his arm.
According to a press statement from the Broken Arrow Police Department, some of the students’ putative legal guardians were waiting outside the vehicle and could be heard banging on the window.
Capt. Josh McCoy said to the local media that Young was driving the bus at speeds of between 3 and 10 miles per hour when he pulled into the parking lot.
McCoy said the children were put at risk because they were held against their will and because some of them were attempting to jump from the bus even though the driver was going slowly.
When the bus finally stops, Young releases his seatbelt and gets up to speak to the remaining students.
“I don’t give a damn about what parents do,” he said. I don’t care if they smack the bus. I don’t give a damn if they smash the window or get violent.”
Oklahoma criminal defense attorney Tommy Adler told News Channel 8 that it was unclear whether Young’s accusations would be upheld in light of the “chaotic environment going on that bus.”
You can see he’s trying to get the bus back under control by the way the passengers are behaving. I mean, the driver doesn’t have to stop the bus right away just because a youngster yells at him to get off when he’s on a public road.
According to public records, Young is presently held at the Tulsa County Jail on a $60,000 bond. It is unknown if he has hired an attorney or his court date.