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DPS driver resigns after investigation finds he was abusive aboard bus

Published: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 @ 8:23 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 7:13 PM

DPS bus driver resigns following alleged bullying onboard bus

A Dayton Public Schools bus driver has resigned in the wake of a May 1 altercation during which he repeatedly taunted and insulted a 12-year-old student he accused of misbehaving:

  • Demetrius Williams chose to resign May 22 rather than be fired 
  • Video from the in-bus camera reveals a long and running argument with the student 
  • The DPS investigation found Williams scared all the children on the bus and jeopardized their safety
  • The boy’s parents admit their son did misbehave, but did not deserve what happened to him

 

FULL REPORT (June 6) 

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Dayton Public Schools bus driver Demetrius Williams would have been fired as a result of the investigation, according to the district in a statement released Tuesday.  

In a statement, district officials said their investigation found that Williams “inappropriately engaged with several students” and escalated an argument on board the bus May 1.

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“Dayton Public Schools does not tolerate any inappropriate actions by our employees toward our children,” Superintendent Rhonda Corr said in the statement. “We work diligently every day to provide the best service for our students and provide a quality education.”

Video from the in-bus camera shows a long and running argument between Williams and the student. Williams calls the boy a punk and a fat crybaby, over and over. The boy responds by calling the driver the N-word and other expletives.

DPS’ investigation, done by Associate Director of Safety and Security Richard Wright, said Williams slammed on the brakes for no reason, scaring the children and putting their safety in jeopardy. Wright also wrote that Williams “caused visible undue fear to the children on board.”

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The video shows that after Williams slammed on the brakes, students were milling around the bus talking while Williams repeatedly yelled at them to sit down. He then engaged directly with the 12-year-old near the front of the bus, aggressively leaning over the child, putting his finger in the boy’s face and calling him a punk.

The boy yelled back, and other students told the driver he was making a young girl in the back cry. Williams blamed the 12-year-old.

“I didn’t make her cry; he made her cry,” Williams said, turning back to the boy. “Shut up and be quiet you little crybaby. I’ll beat your butt.”

Wright wrote that Williams’ “verbal abuse and aggressive nature towards the child would lead one to believe Williams intentionally intended to intimidate by way of fear.”

The boy then called his father on his cell phone to ask for help. That led to a juvenile exchange where the boy and Williams argued over whether the father would beat up the driver. Wright said the total interaction between the two lasted for 64 minutes.

The boy’s parents say their son did misbehave, but say it was no excuse for what he endured on the bus that day.

“It disgusts me man. It’s gut-wrenching, it’s insane,” said Chris Wilson, the father of the boy, upon seeing the video Tuesday. “Oh he’s bullying my son to the fullest, to the fullest, there’s no other way around it.”

In early May,  Wilson forced his way onto the bus, which prompted 9-1-1 calls. He called it a rescue operation. 

When the driver didn’t stop, Wilson said he had to chase the bus to get his kids off the bus.

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Wilson said his 12-year-old son called him from the bus the day of the incident, crying. His son claimed the driver was “poking him, in his face, calling him fat boy, cry baby ... unprofessional,” Wilson said. “He was bullying my son for 35 to 37 minutes before the altercation stopped.”

According to a Dayton Police Department incident report, the driver told officers a different account. When officers reviewed video from the bus camera, the video supported the 12-year-old’s version.

Williams was put on administrative leave pending the district’s investigation.