Exclusive cell phone video obtained by News 8 appears to show a woman identified by school leaders as a local mom aboard a school bus bound for New Haven’s Wexler Grant School, accosting a 12-year-old boy who was brawling with the woman’s son. Taneka Booker says it was her son the woman grabbed and pushed.
“I’m very angry,” said Booker. “I’m very angry. She cannot go around and just put her hands on somebody else’s child,” she explained.
You can hear other kids on the bus yelling for the mom to get off. Yet, Booker said it’s the bus driver who should’ve stepped in.
“The whole time this lady is doing this to my son the bus driver is just sitting there doing nothing,” Booker told News 8’s Mario Boone.
New Haven Public Schools told us the substitute driver couldn’t immediately help “because the students involved were in the aisle.”
New Haven police investigated but did not file charges citing “no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the intervening parent and that the parent only entered the bus to separate the boys and remove her son; she had not intervened with the intent to harm either student.”
Booke doesn’t see it that way. “I want to see her arrested for putting her hands on my child.”
Both boys involved in the original fight on the bus have been suspended from school.
Web Extra: Exclusive cell phone video of school bus brawl
Below is the full statement from NHPS on the incident:
On the morning of April 26, 2019, an incident occurred between two students on a Wexler Grant bus. The incident occurred while the bus was stopped to accept riders on to the bus.
Due to the incident, the mother of the onboarding student intervened to separate the students. The substitute bus driver was unable to immediately get out of her seat and intervene because the students involved were in the aisle.
New Haven police investigated the incident and found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the intervening parent and that the parent had entered the bus to separate the students and remove her son; she had not intervened with the intent to harm either student. The investigating officer determined the appropriate course of action was to permit the events to be handled as a school administration issue. School administration has addressed the issue between the two students.
The New Haven Public Schools Central Office requested and obtained the bus surveillance video from First Student for that vehicle on the date in question. Central Office staff concurred with the findings of the police department investigation.
There is a policy that no unauthorized parties or parents are allowed to board buses and the driver understands the policy. The driver had opened the door to allow the older brother of the boarding student to get off.