This is a story that has the community divided.
A First Student bus driver was reportedly seen striking a student in a bus accident in Jacksonville at Jackson High last Wednesday morning. A Jacksonville Sheriffs officer also says the child’s nose was bloody.
Quarnetta Quaintance, 45, is now facing child abuse charges for hitting one of the students on her bus. The victim admits she approached Quaintance and was using profanity and a witness confirmed that the victim was walking toward the bus driver in an “aggressive manner.”
On the surface of it, placing the driver on suspension and conducting an investigation could result in her termination. Many parents say they understand how someone could act in defense or out of frustration.
On the other hand the law is pretty clear. Florida has an anti-bullying law that originated to protect children from bullies. The Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act mandates that schools adopt policies to stop bullying, or lose state funding. Federal statistics say that about three-quarters of middle school students say they have faced bullying or threats from other students. Florida is one of few states that have a penalty if schools do not take bullying seriously.
So the law clearly forces schools to adopt some type of team approach to stop bullying – this time it’s school personnel that appear to be a victim.
If the student was violent, expulsion may have to be a punishment or more creative alternative, such as public service assignments. Let’s hope this child’s parents or an appointed guardian gets involved as they are a key to solving the violence on school personnel. There are no easy answers here, but action must be taken.
Legally, unless a person is approaching you with a weapon and you are in fear for your life, you cannot strike someone, especially an underage person. It is indefensible.
Let’s hope this bus driver doesn’t take the burden of the punishment if the school has truly failed to deal effectively with bullying.
If you have any questions regarding auto accidents or bus accidents in Florida, Jacksonville’s experienced auto accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers at Farah and Farah can help. Call 800-533-3555 today for a free evaluation.