Monticello school bus driver accused of choking student - New York News

Monticello school bus driver accused of choking 7th-grade student

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MONTICELLO, Minn. (KMSP) -

A school bus driver in Monticello is being investigated after several children accused her of choking a seventh-grade student -- and the victim shared his side of the story with FOX 9 News.

Though he is healing, 12-year-old Travis Walker said he is scared to board any school bus ever again after what happened on Tuesday.

"She like, dove on me and kind of put her hands on my neck and then hit me and tried to get my phone," he recalled.

According to Walker, the driver became upset that he answered a phone call on the bus from his sibling, who was locked out of their house.

"It's a little bruised," he said, of his injury.

Dozens of other students were on the bus at the time. Some called the police. Others called Walker's over sister, who met them at the next stop.

"She started to pull off, so I stepped in front of the bus. I walked right in front of the bus and stood there," Hailey Walker told FOX 9 News. "I looked at Travis and said, 'What happened?" and he lifted up his neck -- and I see hand prints around his neck."

Hailey Walker said her brother then pulled down his shirt to show his chest was red too.

"The side of his face was red, like he had been punched in the side of the face," Hailey Walker said.

Though Travis Walker's mother admitted her son has gotten into trouble with the driver once before, but she says that's no excuse to attack a child.

"She called him stupid. She spit in his face," Tammy Peterson told FOX 9 News. "Travis did say some foul words back to her."

The family said they want charges to be filed, but investigators say there are two sides to every story. Even so, they plan to submit the case to county prosecutors.

School officials say the driver will remain suspended until four separate investigations -- one by the Wright County Sheriff's Department, another by the bus company -- Hoglund Transportation Inc., the school district's investigation, and another by the Department of Education -- are complete.

A spokesperson for Hoglund Transportation Inc., told FOX 9 News they are saddened over the entire situation, and have interviewed the driver along with police. They say she's been driving buses with them for at least eight years and has never been written up before.

This case marks the first time the 65-year-old company has had to deal with any allegations of assault involving a driver.

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