LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) — One of the last bus rides of the school year ends with an angry confrontation between a bus driver, students, and parents in Lucedale. The bus video is making the rounds on social media. Parents say it started as a normal trip home from Central Elementary school in Lucedale Friday afternoon. Shortly after the bus route started, the driver returned to Central Station, that’s a gas station right next to the elementary school. They say the driver left the bus unattended for about 15 minutes. They believe the driver had fallen ill. As the temperature and tensions started to rise on the bus full of kids–witnesses say some of the younger children started getting upset.
“They were crying and yelling,” said bus rider Ramiro Pruitt describing the scene. Some students began calling parents.
“She calls me, she’s crying she says mom, come get me, I’m scared,” said Mother Kattie Bragg. Bragg said she, like a lot of parents, wants to know what happened. Other parents got concerned calls from bus riders.
“My kids called me, I couldn’t hear them, there were too many kids screaming in the background for their parents,” said mother Nicki Pruitt. Some parents then arrived at the school bus and that’s when things escalated. Video circulating online shows the bus driver yelling at the students to stay on the bus and yelling at parents to stay off the bus. Tempers flared.
“She scared those kids on the school bus, nobody wants to get back on the school bus,” said Nicki Pruitt. Some parents worry despite all the attention this incident is getting there won’t be any change.
“I think they want everyone to be quiet about it and they’re going to brush it under the carpet,” said parent Anthony Pruitt. The video causing such an uproar this weekend–the George County School district posted a statement online saying they were aware of the incident and were investigating. I reached out to superintendent Wade Whitney Jr. via email. He didn’t answer follow-up questions Sunday but did acknowledge they’re still trying to figure out what happened so appropriate action can be taken. Whitney said he expects more information to be released in the coming week.