MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A violent school bus fight caught on camera is raising concerns in Rutherford County after a student says pepper spray was used.
An investigation is underway at Whitworth Buchanan Middle School to identify everyone involved and assure they are disciplined appropriately, according to the communications director of Rutherford County Schools.
There are a number of questions about protocol after a family says they were never notified by school officials.
“The only way any of the parents that I know of will know anything about it is because their children tell them,” Nola Medellin told News 2.
It’s concerning for Medellin whose grandson came home Tuesday afternoon saying he’d been pepper sprayed on the school bus.
“His eyes burned, his mouth. He said his tongue burned, but he only got a slight amount, residual,” she explained.
Cell phone video captured the fight between two female students Tuesday afternoon.
“It wasn’t a normal pull hair, scratch fight you see from 7th and 8th graders. You know, in my day, if you got in a fight with someone you might slap someone or pull a little hair or something and it was over. This was violent,” stated Medellin.
The video shows multiple punches thrown before the bus driver breaks up the fight. That’s when you see one of the students pull out what appears to be pepper spray and come toward the back of the bus.
“Someone grabbed the girl with the pepper spray and that caused the pepper spray to just go everywhere,” she said.
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In the video, you can hear the aftermath, loud coughing from some of the children. So why wasn’t the bus cleared, officials called and parents notified, Medellin questioned.
“What are the procedures when a fight, a really bad fight actually breaks out on a school bus? Will it be pepper spray next time or will it be a gun from some other child who feels like if they got away with the pepper spray and it’s a weapon maybe they could bring something else? Is that far-fetched? I don’t think so in today. I really don’t think that that’s far-fetched today,” she said as she shook her head.
Officials at the school told News 2 that the bus driver did write up the children involved and that a technician is pulling video from the bus so they can be disciplined appropriately. The driver said he heard a student threaten to use pepper spray, but no one reported it was actually used.
However, Medellin called the Department of Transportation and informed them of the incident Tuesday afternoon.