Bullying continues to be a pervasive problem in the American educational system that affects all members both in person and offline. Apart from direct involvement in bullying, apathy or compliance in its presence can be just as damaging if not worse. An Oklahoma police investigation has been opened into such an incident that had been recorded on a student’s camera. In this incident, a tearful and distraught boy on a school bus is shown to be pleading with the bus driver to drop him off at his home rather than at the bus stop as is usually done. Presumably, a bully was awaiting the expected return of the boy to that particular bus stop, and hence the boy did not wish to return there. Whether by an inflexibly strict adherence to protocol or an ignorance to the gravity of the boy’s situation, the bus driver is shown to be yelling at the boy to get off of the bus at the bus stop, with another voice audibly threatening to evict the boy in the same way. Once he is forcibly ejected from the bus, he is almost immediately chased and attacked by an older boy, as was tragically expected.

Mayes County Sheriff’s Office Major Rod Howell issued a statement declaring that the footage is disturbing and is worthy to begin an investigation in and of itself. He also went on to state that investigators have been examining the footage on the two cameras on the bus along with that on a cell phone video in order to gather more evidence, that the school district has been cooperative to the investigation, and that investigators have been trying to get the black bus of the particular school bus involved in the unfortunate bullying incident as part of an effort to attain and objectively evaluate all the available evidence without rushing to judgment. In addition to the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office, Locust Grove Public Schools also issued a statement of their very own intended to address the bus bullying incident, corroborating that they turned it over to law enforcement so that they could conduct a thorough investigation on their own, having internally addressed the actions of the students and the bus driver. However, the district did not choose to make any comment regarding whether or not the bus driver involved in the incident remained employed with the same job or with the district.

While the investigation into the particular details of the unfortunate incident is still ongoing, it can be safely surmised that the young boy showed distress and a patent unwillingness to leave the safety of the school bus. Indeed this was a perfectly reasonable reaction, given that he was physically assaulted directly after being forcibly ejected from the bus, with camera footage providing concrete visual evidence that he was being physically attacked on that day and location. The avoidant anticipatory behavior of the student is likely to suggest that this was not an isolated event but rather was a part of an ongoing pattern of bullying. Regardless of whether the bus driver was within legal leeway to eject the student or outside moral bounds to do so, it is unfortunate that a young student was clearly documented being bullied yet had no one to turn to for much sympathy or compassion.