Deputies: Possible assault in school bus fight, student may have been stabbed with pencil

CCSD school buses (File/WCIV)

A school bus fight broke out among Ladson Elementary School students Thursday afternoon and now Charleston County deputies are investigating possible assault against an 8-year-old.

"The school bus stopped on Ladson Road in the Heritage Holiness Church parking lot when the fight occurred. Deputies are investigating an allegation that a juvenile student assaulted another juvenile student. Deputies are also investigating claims that one of the juveniles used a pencil to stab the other juvenile," states Roger Antontio, with the sheriff's office.

According to a parent who was waiting in the parking lot to pick up her daughter, the scene was "chaotic."

In video taken by a student on the bus, children are seen screaming, one student is seen flipping the bird and the bus driver eventually yells, "I'm calling the cops!"

"I see the bus sitting there not moving, and I'm wondering, 'Why is it still there?'" recalls the parent, who does not wish to be identified. "The door was shut, kids were hanging out the window crying, screaming, on their cell phones calling their parents."

"There is one little boy who is calling someone a b*tch and shot the bird," the parent states. "It just went back and forth with these kids — it was just chaotic."

The parent said a school resource officer was called to handle the situation in the parking lot.

Behavior issues are a known problem on this particular bus, according to Andy Pruitt, with the Charleston County School District.

In fact, the school's assistant principal even rode on the bus earlier this week to address behavior.

"Ladson's assistant principal rode Bus 440 home this week as a proactive measure to curb negative behavior and staff members will be riding that bus home with students again today," Pruitt said on Friday. "School staff members have been working on reinforcing positive behavior with the students and have also worked (with) the bus drivers on how to engage students in a productive manner."

At least for one parent, she is no longer allowing her daughter to take that bus.

"I’m not putting my daughter back on the bus anymore," the parent said. "I feel bad for parents who don’t have that option, because it’s not safe."

The sheriff's office states that at the time of the incident, there were no indications of injuries or marks on the 8-year-old juvenile.

"Deputies are working with the school district and the juveniles’ parents to ensure the proper course of action is taken," Antonio states.

Pruitt states, "This is a matter school and district staff take very seriously; we will continue to work with students and parents to reach an outcome that benefits the safety and well-being of everyone involved."

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