BLANCHARD, Okla. (KFOR) – A fight between two Blanchard Middle School students was caught on camera, but it’s who can be heard in the background allegedly egging them on that’s raising eyebrows.
Brent McDonald has three children who attend Blanchard Public Schools.
“I grew up in this area. I love Blanchard Schools. My kids love Blanchard schools. I love the town,” said McDonald.
It was last Thursday when his youngest son had a friend over after school.
“They told me basically what you see in the video that a kid jumped on another kid. I don’t know the whole story and then you hear the bus driver encouraging it,” added McDonald.
McDonald thought there was no way a bus driver egged on a fight between two Blanchard Middle School students.
His son’s friend pulled up the video and lo and behold, the bus driver can be heard in the background saying, “Beat the hell out of him!”
The video provided to News 4 is 39 seconds long. It shows two students involved in a fight on a school bus.
One student is leaned over top of another and the fight is slow paced at first.
The bus driver then shuts the doors leading off the bus and encourages the one student leaning over top of the other to “beat the hell out of him.”
The bus full of kids gets rowdy and the fight gets aggressive.
The student on top starts throwing punches and elbows as the student on the bottom tries to protect his face with his backpack. The student on the bottom is screaming and appears to be crying.
The video ends there.
“I was mad. I was instantly mad, you know? I place no blame on the kids whatsoever because kids are going to be kids. But those bus drivers are there to protect our kids. And we’re supposed to trust the schools to do that while they’re on that bus and if the adult on the bus is going to be antagonizing the fight, then, you know, it just made me pretty angry as a parent, especially one that has two of my children ride on that bus,” said McDonald.
McDonald told KFOR he has never had an issue with Blanchard’s transportation, but shortly after going public with his story on social media, several other parents reached out to him and claimed the district’s transportation has a multitude of issues.
“I couldn’t count on two hands how many parents have reached out and told me their stories about situations on the bus,” stated McDonald.
Meanwhile, McDonald was reaching out to the school districts HR Department and the Superintendent’s Office.
“Nobody had reached out to me, so I reached out to you guys in hopes of something possibly being done,” explained McDonald.
News 4 talked with Blanchard Superintendent Brady Barnes Monday morning. He said the school district was made aware of the incident on Thursday.
“More stuff came to light Friday morning,” said Supt. Barnes. “Our most important job here is to provide a climate that’s safe and secure for all students here. And we brought the bus driver in that morning. We didn’t have school Friday. [We] brought him in that morning and started investigating the matter.”
Supt. Barnes said the bus driver, who has been a longtime employee with the district, has been relieved of his duties.
“We value our bus drivers. They provide a valuable service in getting our kids to and from school safely, so we value them and [the bus driver] had a lapse in judgment for one moment. And we’re dealing with it and we’re going to move on,” added Supt. Barnes.
He went on to say student safety is a top priority at Blanchard. Both students involved in the fight are okay, according to Supt. Barnes.
“It’s an internal personnel matter, and we’re dealing with it. We’re still investigating the matter with [the] kids,” said Supt. Barnes.
He also said the former bus driver’s route will not be impacted as they have another driver available to take over for the remainder of this school year.
“I hate that you know, that somebody would lose their job and their livelihood. I would never wish that on anyone. But on the other hand, like I said, those adults have got to keep our kids safe. We trust them to do that, not let one kid beat another kid up. You know, that’s just unfortunate,” said McDonald.