Woman charged with assaulting child on school bus - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Woman charged with assaulting child on school bus

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A Clarksville mother said her child was attacked by an adult on a school bus. The confrontation went on for minutes before anyone could stop it.

"She told him she was going to F him up," said mother Monica Rogers. "He said he was going to get his mother, and she said 'Go ahead. I'll F her up too.' Really? I wasn't thinking about me. You grabbed my son? You really grabbed him?"

Rogers said her second grade son was on a school bus on Raleigh Court when Kela Hand boarded after him, wrongly accused him of hitting another child and tried to pull him off the bus.

"You were going to take him off the bus and drag him home?" said Rogers. "What were you going to do?"

Hand is charged with assault in the case, but Rogers said her much bigger concern is with the bus driver who didn't stop Hand from boarding.

"You'd rather kids get harmed than you?" said Rogers. "C'mon now. I'd rather someone punch me in my face than my child."

"Bus drivers are trained in what to do, and one of the main things is to get in the aisle and not let them pass," said Elise Shelton of the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.

School officials said bus driver Connie Pritzl has a previous incident on her record when someone was able to board the first step of her bus. She will no longer be driving a school bus but instead drive a food services truck.

"That way she won't have to make those kinds of judgements in terms of protecting children, and we want people that will protect children," said Shelton.

School officials said the cameras on the bus were invaluable in reviewing the situation. While the Department of Education said there are no laws requiring school bus cameras in Tennessee, a list by the Tennessee Association of Pupil Transportation shows all counties in the state have cameras except Grainger, Grundy, Hancock and Robertson. There are more than 6,500 school buses with cameras in Tennessee including all buses in metro.

According to Rogers, she supports any tool that protects her son.

"I need to be sure he feels safe," said Rogers. "He needs to feel safe to ride the bus to school."

Channel 4 reached out to suspect Kela Hand for comment, but she did not return any messages.

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