Parents demand policy changes after daughter allegedly assaulted on school bus
GEORGETOWN, Del. – “It’s very, very enraging, it’s upsetting as a parent,” said Kristy Owens. It’s a situation no parent wants to find themselves in. Your child coming off the bus from school crying and bruised because another kid attacked them on the bus ride home. But that’s exactly the situation the Owens family says they found themselves in last Friday with their second grade daughter who goes to Georgetown Elementary.
“An older boy said if you hit her I bet she’ll cry like a baby and he said ok I’m going to do it,” said Kristy.
Both Kristy and her husband Vance say after their daughter Emma told them what happened they called the school Monday. And when they got the call to view the surveillance video that captured the incident they say they couldn’t believe their eyes.
“At that moment he put her hands on her neck and started choking her she got very still she didn’t move during that time hardly at all and then he went from that to starting to swing again with full hands all the way back swinging,” said Kristy.
School officials denied our request for an interview but did release this statement that said: “The incident on the school bus at Georgetown Elementary School was investigated by the school administration and the Georgetown Police Department. The students involved have been disciplined in accordance with the Indian River School District’s Student Code of Conduct.”According to Kristy and Vance they were told the student would only be suspended one day, and to them that’s not enough.
“To have an eight-year-old think that it’s okay to put his hands around a little girl’s neck and just have a day off of school I just don’t think that justifies the offense,” said Vance.
As of now the Indian River School District allows for a range of discipline action for assault and offense touching. From as little as an administrative or guidance conference to police arresting the student and charging them with a crime. But Kristy and Vance say the want to see a change with the schools policy to make sure something like this never happens again.
“Clearer lines need to be drawn, so that they have better guidelines to look to in incidents like this. What was this, was this just offensive touching, was this assault, there needs to be a line of which is which,” said Kristy.
And these parents say they won’t stop until they get justice for their daughter.
“She knows that we’re not going to stand by and let something like this happen,” said Kristy.
47 did reach out to the Georgetown Police Department for a comment on the incident and to see if we could view the surveillance video,but they told us the video is evidence and the will not be releasing it at this time. As for the investigation, they say it’s still ongoing.
Officials with the Indian River School district also tell us that as far as general protocol is concerned, once an incident is reported, school administrators will conduct an initial fact-finding investigation. They add that if, as a result of this investigation administrators believe a criminal offense may have occurred, they will contact the School Resource Officer who will then conduct his own investigation.