Bellaire student faces school, legal consequences for alleged school bus bullying incident


BELLAIRE, Ohio (WTRF) — Action has been taken both in the school system and the legal system against the student who allegedly assaulted a young girl on the school bus.

The school district had three options—suspending the student, expelling him or sending him to juvenile court.

Because the student is a juvenile, the superintendent couldn’t disclose what they chose.

But he said they chose “one or more” of those options.

Regarding the criminal charges, the Belmont County Prosecutor’s office confirmed the young man faces two counts of assault and one count of persistent disorderly conduct.

At school, they are rolling out refined rules of behavior on the bus.

A copy went home today with every student.

“Everyone will be in their seat, with their tail in the seat and their feet on the floor,” said Superintendent Darren Jenkins.

He emphasized the bus driver did everything he could, radioing ahead for law enforcement and school personnel to meet the bus.

But said it happened quickly, between 26th Street and the high school.

“The driver had little or no opportunity to park the bus and pull off because he was in in-town traffic,” Jenkins noted.

The victim’s mother tells 7News her daughter has returned to school, at least for now.

Her family has hired the Toriseva Law firm to represent her.

Attorney Josh Miller says they may file a civil lawsuit “against those responsible or those who failed to act.”

And people on the street said the responsibility shouldn’t stop with the student suspect.

“Did the parents of the boy have to pay the medical bills for the girl if she got hurt?” said Valerie Bumgardner of Bellaire. “I think they should pay for some kind of restitution for the girl. And was she traumatized by it? She probably was. I think the parents (of the perpetrator) should be held accountable for that too.”

Superintendent Darren Jenkins says bad behavior on the bus puts many lives at risk.

“We cannot permit that to occur,” he said. “We just cannot permit that to occur.”

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