A video posted on Facebook showing a 7-year-old Virginia boy being taunted for nearly four minutes by schoolmates on the bus is sparking outrage and calls for the school district to investigate.
The incident reportedly happened aboard a bus in Reensville, Virginia, just north of the eastern North Carolina state line. The video was posted Sunday by the boy's mother, Clarice Conner, with an obscenity-laced rebuke of the parents whose students bullied her son.
It has been viewed more than 63,000 times, and inspired more than 2,000 comments, many of them condemning the school district for allowing the loud, boisterous bullying to go on for so long.
In the video, students crowd around her 7-year-son, filming him with their cell phones and jeering him. He tries pushing the cell phones away from his face, but eventually resorts to ducking his head behind the seat .Conner describes her son in the video as "head down...crying...helpless." She notes her daughter sat next to the boy "not having a clue what is going on."
She says the students on the bus ranged from kindergarten to sixth grade.
"Ain't no need for nobody to tell me to calm down...because I WILL NOT," she says in her Facebook post. "This is why kids kill themselves or try or run away from home...When is it gonna stop? When are parents going to help children understand that BULLYING is not ok?...Ya'll not (going to) be satisfied til some blood gets shed or somebody gets in trouble."
Conner goes on to say her son would have been the one in trouble if he had defended himself. "I will not let my kids fall victim to bullying," she says in her post. "Let's fix this."
Greensville County Public School Superintendent Angel Wilson told media outlets the district is investigating. Wilson shared a statement with TV station WRIC:
"Bullying of any kind is not tolerated in our schools or on our school buses. The behaviors demonstrated in this incident are disturbing, and are being addressed promptly according to the Student Code of Conduct and school division policy. We share the concerns of our community about this situation and will be exploring more ways to clearly communicate to our students and families how to prevent this kind of incident from occurring in the future."
Viewers of the video have called it "heart breaking," "horrible" and potentially criminal. Questions are also being raised as to why no one was monitoring the children.
"My heart hurts," said Rhonda Hines in response to the video. "Those kids are out of control."
"'I hope you get to the bottom of this because someone needs to be held responsible. If they can’t do the job, they need to find someone else," posted Brittany Williams.
"This video is too sad to watch," posted Adrian Pearson. "I hate that this happened to your baby boy.... although the event was unfortunate I hope that it opens the community up for discussion. It has to stop. Keeping you all in my prayers," Crystal Wright Ruffin.
"Clarice Conner this breaks my heart and I am praying for your sweet baby and you as you seek justice and healing," Elizabeth Stanley Trail.