Most modern school buses come equipped with a camera situated near the rear-view mirror, capturing video of the vehicle’s activity in case a fight amongst students happens to break out or another incident occurs. Usually, these cameras are installed for the bus driver’s sake, so that he or she doesn’t have to be responsible for maintaining control over the kids.
On an Indianapolis school bus, however, it was the bus driver who was responsible for getting into a recent altercation.
The bus driver, 47-year-old Charlotte McDaniel, allegedly attacked a student whom she was driving home from school on Monday.
The student was 14-year-old Autumn Bonilla, who reportedly yelled at the driver, swore at her and called her names after witnessing her discipline another student. Bonilla and the driver subsequently got into a verbal argument, which quickly escalated into a physical fight.
The police report indicated that both the bus driver and the student threw punches at each other but that the driver ultimately pushed the student down into a seat using a broom handle, The Indy Channel reports.
“I didn’t know what I got hit with at first. She hit me in my temple with the broomstick. I have a fractured bone in my nose,” Bonilla told Fox 59 about the incident.
Bonilla also admitted her responsibility in the incident, despite maintaining McDaniel took things a step too far.
“She told me I had to put my phone away, and I told her I wasn’t putting anything away," Bonilla said. "Then we started cussing at each other. I completely 100 percent admit that I started it. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. I did start it. But that [doesn’t] give a grown woman a reason to put her hands on me at all."
McDaniel has been suspended from her job at Durham School Services and currently faces an internal investigation, although no criminal investigation is currently underway.
The incident may have been captured on the bus’s built-in camera, but it was definitely captured by students with smart phone cameras. Video evidence depicts both parties involved in the altercation screaming and yelling at each other, all leading up to McDaniel’s use of the broom on Bonilla.