A school bus driver in Louisiana was arrested after he was caught on video slapping and choking a middle school student as other children aboard yelled at him to stop.
The shocking footage was reportedly captured on video by one of the terrified students aboard the bus in Jefferson Parish and does not show what led up to the incident. Police identified 77-year-old Miles Jenkins as the alleged bus driver who was arrested on Monday after a parent called law enforcement, according to WVUE.
The footage began with the driver seeming to push the student back to a seat. After the student tried to get up again, the driver could be seen shoving him and then slapping his head. When the student pushed back, the driver then appeared to pin the child against the bus window and allegedly tried to choke him. Other students could be heard yelling for the attack to stop as shouts of “Get off him” were recorded.
The driver was arrested and booked with simple battery after the boy’s father called police, according to Sgt. Brandon Veal, nola.com reported.
“We are aware of an incident that occurred on October 30 on the campus of Marrero Middle School between a First Student bus driver and a student,” the school district said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority, and JP Schools will continue to facilitate a safe learning environment for all students and employees. We are cooperating with JPSO to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted.”
Jenkins was “booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna. Bail was set at $500, but he was released without having to pay because of crowding at the jail,” nola.com reported.
Jenkins reportedly resigned from First Student, the school bus contractor he worked for.
“At First Student, we invest heavily in the comprehensive training and ongoing development of our drivers,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement to WVUE on Wednesday. “They receive an average of 40 hours of training before operating a bus, which is more than double the federal requirement. Drivers also go through regular enhancement training during their tenure with the company. We monitor driver performance daily and conduct annual evaluations.”
“All bus drivers who transport our Jefferson Parish Schools students undergo state and federal background checks. They also undergo training before, and during, the period that they transport our students,” Kaela Lewis, spokesperson for Jefferson Parish Schools told WVUE.
“The district provides thorough instructions to drivers in compliance with state and federal safety and operations guidelines and regulation. Bus drivers for our transportation vendor, First Student, are required to know and abide by our district’s policies and procedures. To the extent that drivers fail to follow those policies and procedures, they are not fulfilling the requirements of their job,” Lewis added. “Once reported, district and school disciplinary policies are followed, and if necessary, appropriate disciplinary actions are taken.”