Last updated: June 07. 2014 12:20AM - 3041 Views
By - cfriedman@civitasmedia.com

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ROCKINGHAM — School officials are investigating a mother’s claim that students attacked and beat her fifth-grade son on the school bus Wednesday, causing cuts and bruises that required medical care.

Mary Leak said several East Rockingham Elementary School students ganged up on the boy, hitting and kicking him for several minutes. Richmond County Schools did not confirm that the assault took place but said Thursday and Friday that officials are looking into the matter.

“Richmond County Schools takes school bus safety very seriously,” Superintendent Dr. George Norris said in a statement. “We investigate all matters of student discipline that occur on buses.”

Leak said the assault happened on bus No. 58 and said the driver, who Norris identified as Veronica Ingram, did nothing to stop it.

“It’s still under investigation, and justice will be done concerning what happened to my child so that it won’t happen to another one in Richmond County,” Leak said.

Leak said her son received treatment at the hospital for cuts to his fingers and bruises. She said Ingram was still driving the East Rockingham Elementary bus the day after the incident.

In a statement released by Richmond County Schools spokeswoman Mallory Brown, Norris said Ingram has worked for the school system for about 9 months. School officials declined to say whether Ingram stopped the bus or tried to intervene.

Richmond County Schools does not have surveillance cameras on its school buses, Norris said in the statement Brown provided to the Daily Journal.

As she awaits the results of the school system’s investigation, Leak said she wants to ensure that the matter is handled appropriately.

“My child was injured in this process,” she said, “and justice will be done. I’m going to see to that.”

Reach Editor Corey Friedman at 910-997-3111, ext. 13.

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