Parents Accused of Beating Bus Driver Who Didn't Let Kids Off Fast Enough

school busThere was an awful situation on an elementary school bus resulting in the arrest of three parents. There are different accounts of exactly what happened, but this is what is being said. A Palm Beach County School bus driver was reportedly attacked and beaten after he didn't let kids off the bus fast enough.

Driver Joseph Beauzile, 40, approached a bus stop to let off some kids from Westwood Elementary. Beauzile came to a stop and says that the kids were trying to rush off the bus, so he closed the door and stopped them, attempting to have them exit single file. The parents waiting at the stop, most likely concerned about what was going on, ended up entering the bus and got into an altercation with the driver.

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Mom Shacaurra Burns ended up in jail over this. She's one of the parents who entered the bus, though she says she didn't punch the driver. "I did lose my temper. I believe the tape on the bus is going to be horrendous on my part because I was using foul language. But I did not put my hands on him," Burns said. 

There are many instances where parents lose their calm when it comes to their kids and school administration. This is one of them. There is video from the bus surveillance, but it has yet to be released to the public. The situation sounds hectic. Kids rushing to get off the bus. A driver trying to calm the kids. Parents not knowing why the driver closed the door and not letting the kids off. All of that turned into a hostile situation.

According to Beauzile, he was protecting the kids, the property of the school district, and himself by closing the bus door and trying to get kids to exit in an orderly manner. And that all makes sense. That's his job -- to protect the kids. He says that Burns boarded the bus when she felt it was taking too long for her child to exit and forcibly opened the bus door and pulled the emergency brake release. The door closed after her. The driver said that next, Ryan Beckford, 33, ripped the door open and started punching him. Jean Bertrand, also 33, ended up grabbing the keys of the bus and throwing them outside.

Terrified children watched all of this happening as it was reported that one man held the driver down as another man beat him. One student was so scared that the child jumped out of a window. The police investigator who watched the surveillance video said children were crying and had "terrified looks on their faces."

The two men and Burns were arrested and Burns is speaking out trying to clear her name from the beatings. Though she believes that the driver shouldn't have closed the door or prevented the kids from exiting.

Who is in the right here? A bus driver seems to have been doing his job, trying to get the kids to exit properly. Parents were clearly concerned and didn't know why it was taking the kids so long to exit. Perhaps they panicked, acted too soon. What I do know is that all the kids who had to witness this are also victims. What a horrible thing for elementary school children to watch happen at the hands of people who they trust to keep them safe.

What do you think happened here? How do you think you would have reacted if you were the bus driver or the parents waiting at the bus stop?


Image via stockcide/Flickr

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