Marion Co. answers questions on school bus bullying
By Matt Barbour, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
MARION COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- For the second time in five months, the Marion County school system is answering to complaints about one of its bus drivers.
A woman claims her daughter is picked on, and the bus driver does not do anything to stop it.
In September of last year we reported on bullying happening on the same Marion County school bus. We were there as Amanda Harris talked on the phone with the Marion County Superintendent to try and resolve the issue.
"Last Friday she come home crying. That's when a couple of little girls on the bus was calling her fat, said she weighed 196 pounds," says Amanda Harris.
Harris says for at least a year, her 11-year-old daughter, Destiny Foote, has been bullied while riding on Marion County school bus number 9.
"It makes me mad. It's upsetting. Especially when she comes home crying," says Harris.
She says both Destiny and her 10-year-old sister, Hope, have dealt with the bullying.
The two girls live with their Grandmother, Virginia. She says she has made attempts to contact the school board, even talking with the bus driver herself.
"He says, 'Well, I can't watch the road and watch the kids at the same time,'" says Virginia Foote.
Channel 3 was there as Amanda talked with Superintendent Mark Griffith over the phone, relaying what told her daughter when she complained about being picked on.
Harris said over the phone, "He can't do nothing about it because those kids' daddy will beat him up, to 'go sit down and shut up.'"
"Well, that's certainly not the way we would want it handled here at the school system," said Superintendent Mark Griffith.
Griffith says the school bus should be the last place a student feels uncomfortable.
"Once things are brought to our attention, then we put things in place to make sure that the safety of the kids are number one," says Griffith.
He says he is aware there have been reports of problems on the same bus before.
When asked if he is looking into the situation, Griffith said, "I will speak with Mr. Cookston personally with my transportation supervisor as probably as early as Monday," says Griffith.
He says he will personally review the bus-taped recording of last Friday.
Amanda says she is hopeful the problem can be corrected.
"Maybe they'll take it to a new level this time," says Harris.
It should be noted the bus driver has been driving for almost 30 years and has never had any disciplinary action taken against him.
We tried to reach him for comment but were unsuccessful.
Friday, August 22 2014 2:35 PM EDT2014-08-22 18:35:35 GMT
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