HAZLE TOWNSHIP — Disgusting and disturbing. That’s how some officials in the Hazleton Area School District describe a verbal and physical attack on a special needs student.
The incident involved elementary students heading home for the start of summer vacation.
Cell phone video shows what happened Thursday afternoon, involving some students on a Hazleton Area School District bus. Some of the elementary school students can be heard cursing and throwing objects out of windows.
The attack was directed at 18-year-old Chris, who took the pictures. His mother Cheri Seaman said he is autistic and has a fascination with school buses.
“He was standing there quite bewildered. I immediately called the bus company. My employee grabbed him, he had a cut over his ear and he was bleeding a little bit and upset him because he doesn’t like blood.”
Sharon Horvath, the victim’s grandmother, was shocked over what happened.
“I was flabbergasted. I could not believe the language on an elementary and they were throwing things and cursing and I couldn’t believe it.”
There is A recording of the students activity from inside the bus and school district officials have it, however they wouldn’t let Newswatch 16 see it, citing the privacy rights of students.
But school officials played the video for Chris’s mom, who was shocked.
“It was utter chaos on that bus. If I was a parent of one of those children on that bus I would be concerned for their safety. They were standing up, cursing, eating, and if that bus had to come to a complete stop, some of those kids would go flying over those seats.”
School officials are investigating. They confirm elementary students were on the bus. Superintendent of Schools Frank Antonelli said police should charge the students involved with harassment and disorderly conduct.
“Rather disturbing and disgusting behavior by students on that school bus.”
Martini Bus Company is also investigating. Because the company has a contract with the Hazleton Area School District, the owner says he’ll take his cues from the district and possibly discipline the bus driver.