ACCOKEEK, Md. - A sixth grade student was viciously attacked on a Prince George’s County school bus and the incident was caught on video. For more than 40 seconds, the video shows the student get pushed, pummeled and beaten.
His injuries were so bad that his father told FOX 5 that he can't bear to watch the video of someone putting their hands on his son in such a violent way.
"I don't want to see it,” said Shawn Slade. “I saw his face, so I don't want to live through that again."
His son, Myles, was beaten up by other students on the property of Accokeek Academy where he is supposed to be safe.
"They were hitting me in my head a lot,” said Myles.
He said the fight started when he sat down on a bus seat, something sixth graders are often bullied for doing by older students as a sort of a rite of passage. His father said they dealt with this even when his older son was in sixth grade.
“It’s a serious problem,” said Myles’ father.
The school district said the bus was driving off school grounds when the bus driver realized there was a fight. He followed protocol by pulling over and calling for help while letting administrators on the bus.
But what is immensely troubling to Myles’ father is that this video reveals his worst fear -- that his son was not safe at school.
"I told them I thought that they failed my son yesterday because I have a sense of security when I drop him off at the school bus -- that he’s going to get on the school bus, go to school, get back on the school bus and come home safely -- and that didn't happen,” said Shawn Slade.
A Prince George’s County Public School spokesperson issued a statement saying:
“School officials acted quickly to diffuse the situation and have issued disciplinary action to several students. Additionally, meetings have been held with concerned parents to be sure this type of incident does not occur in the future. Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook at all times. Staff are trained in the appropriate steps to handle incidents like these.”
But Shawn Slade said the bruises and marks on his son's body require more specific action. He said they will file a police report.
"I want to see justice prevail because if nothing is done, it’s going to continue to happen,” he said. “It’s going to be someone else’s child later on.”
Prince George’s County Public Schools told us they have taken steps in the past to work on this issue after being alerted by Myles's mother that there was a problem.
They said they have held school assemblies reminding kids what behavior is acceptable and have started an incentive program to encourage good behavior.
Myles’ parents said they were not aware of that, but their reaction was that it clearly was not effective.
The school district is also looking into whether the bus driver did anything wrong.