BARTOW, Fla. — A former school bus driver was recently sentenced to nearly two years in prison for driving a busload of students to her house and allowing two of the passengers to fight in her front yard, The Ledger reports.
The fight took place in May and was captured on a student’s cell phone camera. The Polk County Sheriff's Office began an investigation into Patrice Sanders after receiving a complaint from the mother of one of the girls involved in the fight. According to an arrest report, the two girls began to argue on the bus, and Sanders drove them and the other students on board to her home. When they arrived, she ordered all of the students off the bus, and she offered to get the feuding girls Vaseline to rub on their faces so they wouldn't get scratched. The girls then fought in the front yard, and Sanders didn’t attempt to stop it. Afterward, all of the students boarded the bus, and when the girls began fighting again, Sanders pulled over to let them continue, according to the report.
The Ledger reports that Sanders accepted a plea deal to resolve the charges against her. She pled no contest to child abuse, neglect of a child and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The State Attorney's Office agreed to drop 26 other criminal charges against her. Once she completes her prison sentence, she must serve four years of probation.
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• Former bus driver doesn’t regret breaking up fight
• Blog post: Don’t make driver the scapegoat in school bus attack