Oklahoma City Public Schools bus driver charged with child abuse 

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OKLAHOMA CITY- A bus driver with Oklahoma City Public Schools is facing charges of child abuse after an altercation with a middle school student.

A student's mother said he grabbed her child by the neck.

Court records indicate Henry Ballard is facing charges of child abuse, after he allegedly grabbed a student by the throat and slammed him into a seat.

The incident was caught on video, but the school district said it won't release it due to federal privacy issues, and police said it's part of the investigation.

"What was on that video, an adult should never do when it comes to physically manhandling a child like that," said Mark Myers, a spokesperson with Oklahoma City Public Schools.

According to court records, the 14-year-old middle school student was trying to get off the bus after he got into an argument with another student.

The original incident happened on Nov. 5, 2015.

"After reviewing it internally, it was something district administrators felt could not be tolerated whatsoever," Myers said.

According to police reports, the child who was choked was bullied by another student on the bus.

That's when the driver, Henry Ballard, got involved.

Officials said the driver "told the victim to sit down,"and the student refused.

"There was an altercation between the driver and the student, but the driver's actions were completely inappropriate," Myers said.

Reports said the student tried to get off the bus, and that's when "the driver then grabbed him by the neck and began choking him."

Pictures provided by the family show the victim's injuries.

According to the reports, the driver "pushed the victim back into a seat on the bus, continuing to choke him."

"We took this very seriously form the very beginning of this incident," Myers said.

Now, the driver is charged with one count of child abuse.

A spokesperson with Oklahoma City Public Schools said the bus driver had no prior incidents recorded with the district.

We looked up the requirements for hiring a bus driver, and they include transport the students to and from school in the safest possible manner.

The bus driver was fired from the district on Dec. 17.

The Oklahoma County district attorney filed charges this week.

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