JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- School bus drivers in Duval County are being instructed not to physically get involved if students get in a fight.
Leon Harris is a former school bus driver who broke up a fight and was seriously injured as a result. He was hit with a fire extinguisher by a student.
The issue of driver responsibility surfaced recently following an incident in Pinellas County where three teens punched another teen who suffered a broken leg and black eyes. The 64 year-old bus driver commanded the students to stop, but did not intervene to break them up.
That's district's policy is similar to others in Florida, including Duval County.
"It's hard to stand by. I would want someone to help my child," said Harris, who has no regrets about the decision he made to intervene in a fight. The student who injured Harris was charged in the incident that happened in May 2003.
The injury that left Harris with plates in his forehead and beneath his eye and forced Harris, who was 56 at the time, to step away from being a school bus driver.
In retirement, Harris is still involvement in transportation by helping train bus drivers, but vision issues prevent him from driving a bus.
"When you see someone totally taking advantage of another child ... you have to do something you just cannot stand by and watch it," said Harris, who said unfortunately students fighting comes with the territory.
First Coast News