The father's foot was run over as he attempted to board the vehicle after an altercation with the bus driver, which led the school employee to close the doors and drive away out of fear for the childrens' safety.
It may sound backward, but it’s true: a parent is facing criminal charges after a bus driver drove a 20,000-some pounds bus over the foot of a father. Schools are back in session, and stories of improper bus drivers run amock, but so do those of unruly parents. This was the case in Virginia, as a parent’s foot was injured during an escape attempt, which found the father chasing after the bus as it drove away from rowdy parents.
The incident began near a bus stop for Covington-Harper Elementary school students where parents waited for their children to return from school. The bus driver was a substitute that day and therefore was unfamiliar with parents. Per policy, he asked the adults for ID before picking up their children, and this is where things went awry.
For one reason or another, asking adults for identification is often met with extreme backlash in many situations. This was apparent in Virginia, where allegedly, parents stirred and became uneasy as the bus driver made this request. According to reports from Fox News, this led to a “verbal altercation” between the now-injured father and the subbing driver.
At some point, the bus driver closed the door to bar access to the unidentified parents allegedly refusing to prove their ability to pick the young students up. 32-year-old Gione Deswayne Wise continued to argue with the sub and began hitting the bus door attempting to force it back open. Acting quickly, the driver began driving the bus away from the parents.
Wise held tightly onto the bus’s door, unwilling to let go. He remained this way for an unspecified amount of time, eventually letting go either on his own accord or from being unable to keep ahold as it drove on. As he fell to the ground, the bus driver continue on, and a tire ran over his foot, injuring the parent’s ankle.
The father was sent to a local hospital and treated for his minor injury. Later that evening, the elementary school’s principal sent an announcement out to families. The message noted the incident with the bus driver but left out the part about the injured parent.
The administrator told families that the reason their children were late was that parents became upset when the substitute bus driver asked for identification. They said that the driver made the decision on a whim to return to the school out of concern for the student’s safety. There was no mention of Wise, however, it is not common practice for schools to make public notice about individual parent happenings unless necessary.
Afterward, Wise was charged with attempted trespassing and disorderly conduct. Local parents spoke out about this, as Fox reported, vowing that they would have acted the same as Wise. One parent noted that their child was crying, and said the bus driver was holding them “hostage.”
Others called for the bus driver’s termination, calling him a kidnapper. But as the headline makes its way across social media, some point out that the sub was merely trying to protect the children, and make sure they were safely going with adults they were supposed to. What’s more, most states make it illegal — with heavy repercussions — for adults to enter a school bus without permission.
It is currently unknown how the charges the injured father now faces will play out. Likewise, while the school stands by the bus driver’s actions, it is unknown if he will face discipline in the future. But given the massive outcry from upset locals in the community, it is likely some type of policy change may be coming to the Virginia district.