Despite having all the write up sheets in order, Lake Hamilton bus driver Joyce O'Neal, 69, said she's struggling to get discipline handed down to a high school football player.
O'Neal said the student screamed profanities at her and then assaulted her on the bus on September 25, 2012, after she ordered him to stop fighting with a middle school girl on the bus.
"He was like this," she said making a shoving motion with her arms. "And he shoved me back. His backpack cut my arm in three places. I was bleeding all over the place."
She said she followed up with the school's principal about the player's behavior, which she believes put all of the children's lives in danger.
"We're in moving traffic. Other peoples' lives are involved, 50 to 60 students," she said. "It's chaos. I can't drive that bus safely with all of that going on."
But according to O'Neal, the principal refused to take any action then or now.
"He said nothing is going to be done, that's the way it is," she said of a conversation she had with the high school principal on September 28th. "He said I was out yesterday, and today is homecoming and it's no time to discipline."
KARK's calls to high school administrators have gone unreturned. However, Superintendent Steve Anderson said he only learned of the situation today (October 8, 2012) and is looking into it.
"It just needs to be a team effort in all school districts that the top priority is safety," O'Neal said.
According to the Lake Hamilton High School handbook, prohibited student conduct includes disrespect for school employees, insubordination, disruptive behavior, assaulting a school employee, and use of vulgar or profane language.
Assaulting a school employee requires a minimum disciplinary action of out of school suspension. The maximum penalty is expulsion.
The handbook also requires principals or persons in charge who are aware of a suspected employee assault to immediately report it to law enforcement.
However, O'Neal was the one who had to report it to Garland County Sheriff's Office a week after the fact when discipline was withheld. The Garland County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case as felony battery, saying the investigation is ongoing.
O'Neal hopes speaking out will bring attention to the situation and the safety risks a bus running wild can pose for everyone.
"I hope that their awareness level is raised. My idea is, I've got to do my job and do it safe," she said. "It's not about taking sides, it's about safety."