School bus brawl caught on tape

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A student on a Kanawha County school bus taped a brawl between two teens on the way to Dupont Middle School last week.

The video shows a child repeatedly punching a girl in the seat of a school bus. At one point, the girl starts fighting back, punching and kicking the other student. The voice of the driver can be heard in the background, urging the kids to stop fighting.

13NEWS blurred the footage to protect the identities of the children.

The video, which was later posted to a student's Facebook page, raises questions about how administrators should tackle bullying outside the classroom.

"If it was my child doing the bullying, I would definitely want them to be punished," said Paula White, whose child attends Dupont Middle School in Belle. "I would punish them."

Jessica Smith, of Belle, has two children, ages five and six. She said bullying is definitely an issue in her students' lives and hopes it stops soon.

"I've heard my daughter come home from school and say people's been mean," Smith said. "She just thought it was awful."

Anthony McCarus' son attended Dupont Middle School. He said the nature of bullying has morphed with the rise of the Internet and social media. McCarrus said when a child intentionally hurts another, the police should get involved.

"There should probably be criminal charges placed against them," said McCarus, of Belle. Tommy Canterbury, the principal of Dupont Middle School, said he believes this is a rare incident involving his students.

"We don't have too many physical altercations here," Canterbury told 13NEWS.

Canterbury said he disciplined the students involved in the incident but would not comment on the nature of those disciplinary actions.

George Beckett, head of transportation for Kanawha County Schools, said when a fight occurs on a moving bus, the driver is expected to pull over and "deal with the circumstances." Depending on the nature of the brawl, Beckett said drivers should either intervene or call the police to break up the fight.

"Some high school kids are bigger than some of my drivers," Beckett said.

Beckett said he did not know whether the driver of this particular bus pulled over to address the issue.


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