Young girl recalls attack on Jacksonville school bus

An 8-year-old girl recalls what happened when an older student beat her up on a school bus.

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. -- An 8-year-old Fort Caroline Elementary student says she was pinned down and punched in the face by an older student while riding the school bus.

Duval County Public Schools says they are investigating allegations by Ja'Kyrah Coleman about the bus fight that broke out Thursday morning. 

Related: Jacksonville mom: Daughter punched, choked on school bus

"[The bully] said [my sister] was ugly," Ja'Kyrah said about defending her 5-year-old younger sister. "That made me angry."

After telling off the bully, Ja'Kyrah said the confrontation got physical.

"She yanked my hair onto the floor and she started punching ... she had her knees on my legs, and she had her arms on my arms and she started punching me in my face," Ja'Kyrah said. 

"[The driver] was paying attention on the road and there was an assistant back there, and she didn't care," Ja'Kyrah said.

Ja'Kyrah's parents have concerns that no school employee intervened or reported the fight to them.

DCPS's representative disputes Ja'Kyrah's account of how many school employees were on the bus saying no bus monitor or aide was present on that day. DCPS cited state privacy laws as the reason the Colemans cannot view the bus surveillance video of the incident for themselves.

"We trust them with our kids, to be on the bus and in their school, it just made me feel like there's no safety in that area if there's no one accountable for watching over our children and making sure they're ok," Ja'Kyrah's father, Steve Coleman said. "She's my child, I should be able to see the video." 

In January, Nassau County school officials referred to similar privacy guidelines when it refused to allow parents to view surveillance video of a bus aide accused of abusing special needs students.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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