Richmond, VA—The six middle school students arrested and charged following the assault of a Richmond Public Schools bus driver Tuesday have been released on house arrest after an arraignment hearing Thursday.
The 55-year-old bus driver suffered minor facial scratches in the incident, which involved a total of seven students.
Parents of the children involved in the incident say it started when one student began throwing crayons on the bus. The situation escalated into the bus driver allegedly choking the student, and parents say the other children jumped in to assist their classmate.
Parents also say their children had told them that the bus driver made verbal threats to them, which included cursing and intimations of violence.
Each of the six students who were arrested was charged with aggravated assault and assault by mob. Both charges are felonies.
Seven students were suspended in connection with the incident, according to a statement from Richmond Public Schools Communications Officer Felicia Cosby released Wednesday afternoon. It reads:
"To date, seven Albert Hill students have been suspended, pending a disciplinary panel review in response to yesterday's incident on bus #24 en route to Albert Hill Middle School. School officials and the Richmond City Police department are continuing to investigate the matter.
Once again, the safety and well-being of our students and staff remain one of the district's primary goals. Because this matter is still under investigation, we are limited in providing greater details."
Police were called to the intersection of Idlewood and Sheppard Streets Tuesday morning after a reported altercation on the bus. Police said the driver was assaulted during the altercation.
One student was taken into custody Wednesday as a result of the incident.
Richmond Public Schools officials released the following statement Wednesday:
"We are taking this matter seriously and are working expeditiously with the Richmond Police Department to conduct a full investigation. Once we complete our investigation, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
"The safety and security of both our students and staff are paramount to our mission of promoting student achievement. The alleged misconduct will not be tolerated and those who exhibit such conduct will meet swift and appropriate discipline."
Police are not pursuing any criminal charges at this time. The students are due back in court on January 2.
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