DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A woman is facing charges after police said she got on a Durham school bus and assaulted an unrelated 9-year-old student.
Kathie Hunter-Self is charged with assault on a child under 12 and injury to personal property, warrants show.
Investigators tell CBS 17 this started with the two having a heated argument at a bus stop.
An affidavit explains Hunter-Self witnessed the child bullying other students waiting for the bus. After confronting him, the child hit her, and she struck him back.
The sheriff’s office tells CBS 17 video shows Hunter-Self getting on the bus, still involved in the altercation with the child.
Hunter-Self walked past the bus driver, following the boy onto the bus, grabbing his face and wrists to get his attention, court documents show.
All of this happening while other students are on the bus.
“Sometimes in situations like this a bus driver may believe that another person going on the bus is a relative or a responsible adult,” said Durham Public Schools spokesman Chip Sudderth.
CBS 17 has learned at least 30 seconds went by before the bus driver intervened.
Sudderth explained the delay to react.
“An adult is not supposed to get on the bus and how you deal with that respectfully and politely takes a little bit of time and then the bus driver realized that this was not a good situation,” he said.
Despite several other students on the bus during the altercation, Sudderth tells CBS 17 school buses are safe.
“Our bus drivers are well trained,” he said. “When incidents like these happen they are of course concerning and our bus drivers do respond.”
This happened as students were headed to Eno Valley Elementary School.
DPS said as of now, no disciplinary action against the driver has been taken.