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May 08, 2014  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

Video shows woman boarding bus, threatening children


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Video surveillance footage from a Clarksville-Montgomery County School System bus shows a woman and five other adults walking into the bus against the driver’s objections (the driver is at right in the screenshot). The woman yells at and threatens the children.Screenshot from video obtained by Leaf-Chronicle

Video surveillance footage from a Clarksville-Montgomery County School System bus shows a woman and five other adults walking into the bus against the driver’s objections (the driver is at right in the screenshot). The woman yells at and threatens the children.
Screenshot from video obtained by Leaf-Chronicle

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The Leaf-Chronicle reports that video from Clarksville-Montgomery County School System shows a woman, Kela leshia Hand, boarding a school bus to confront a child she believed hit her stepdaughter in the mouth and threatened the other children on the bus on April 25.

She was later joined by her partner, who is her stepdaughter’s mother, and four other adults, who walked into the bus against the bus driver’s objections.

In the video, Hand walks past the driver, ignoring her objections, and yells at the children. She tries to lead the 7-year-old boy she at first suspected of hitting her daughter off the bus as he cries and screams, according to the newspaper. Some of the other adults who boarded the bus appeared to be checking on their children, while others argued with the kids over who started the fight. One yelled at the children to sit down and behave themselves.

Hand was charged with two counts of assault and one count of disorderly conduct and was banned from St. Bethlehem Elementary School property.

The bus driver, Connie Pritzl, radioed dispatch after Hand first got on the bus, but then she put the radio down. In the video, dispatchers can be heard in the background trying to get a response from Pritzl as she tries to control the situation. A letter of reprimand in Pritzl’s personnel file says dispatch called 911 to request assistance and asked Pritzl for her location, according to the Leaf-Chronicle. After several attempts by dispatch to reach her, Pritzl finally radioed back and said the parent had left the bus, so the request for assistance from 911 was canceled.

Following an investigation, Pritzl was suspended without pay May 1 and 2 and was placed on a five-day alternate work site without pay May 5-9. To read the full story, click here. The video is below.


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Read more about: behavior management, parent disputes, Tennessee


I am a retired school bus driver from Oregon. I drove for 17 years. I also think that the driver was doing the best she could with the situation. She called in her bus number and reported, our district has routes on computer and knows exactly where we are located especially when we are loading at schools in the afternoons. If districts want more prompt responses from their drivers in situations, provide them with wearable radios like police officers wear with a mic on their shoulder.

Sheryl Ehrlich    |    May 18, 2014 01:06 PM

First coarse of action give dispatch bus # & location. The route is set, So knowing what time it was dispatch should have known the stop. How much training do the drivers have to handle the situation.

Arcenio Ramirez    |    May 09, 2014 05:24 AM

i have been in that situation before, my main goal was to control the situation and protect my riders. i called the infromation in with bus number location and what was going on and who to call then waited for help while controlling the situation. the drive like all drive should do is call fore help with bus number and location and what is happining and thats where she did wrong. who new what was going on or what was going to be needed for help.

kevin mosso    |    May 08, 2014 08:14 PM

THAT DRIVER never should have been punished she had adults on her bus and was trying to contol the situation

linda kurtz    |    May 08, 2014 02:32 PM

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