CREATED Jun. 7, 2011
MILWAUKEE – Chaos on the school bus and the I-Team catches it all.
Our story starts with a fed up mom. She says her little girl who is only 4 years old is hit, tormented, has her glasses broken by other kids and that it happens all the time.
She says MPS hasn't done anything about it so I-Team reporter Rob Koebel takes the case
and wait till you see what your tax dollars are paying for now. A school bus ride that is out of control, little children in danger ride after ride. We follow the girl’s entire bus ride cameras rolling.
We spot bus number 83. On board -- a little 4 year-old girl. She goes to Frances Starms Early Childhood Center. But her mom says the little’s girl’s first challenge every day is surviving her bus ride.
Ms. Edwards says, “Nothing has been done I’ve called the school board and the principal.” She claims this small child is being tortured daily, punched, hit by other kids, her glasses broken twice and the torment has been going on for months now.
“She has come home with sores and bumps and even scars up under her neck from certain things being hit on her”, Ms Edwards tells the I-Team Investigators.
The mom says she has begged the school to do something but is only told she needs to get the girl new glasses.
Ms. Edwards says, “I already went through two pairs and this other pair I am extremely afraid to send her to school with them”.
So we decide to take a look at bus number 83 for ourselves.
We find the little girl’s bus loaded up and ready to roll. We are too with our video camera pointed at the windows at the back of the bus.
Ms. Edwards says, “My main concern is for her to go to school and learn and be safe”.
As the bus pulls away we follow it. Watching and waiting to see what happens. Back at home the girl’s mother is fighting back tears she says she can’t believe her daughter has to go through this every day.
Edwards adds, “She continues to get hurt. Why? That hurts as a parent”.
It only takes a matter of minutes before our camera catches a glimpse of what is happening inside the girl’s bus. Kids are standing up and can clearly be seen horsing around as the bus drives down the road. Edwards says the chaos happens every day. She sees it when her daughter is dropped off.
“When the bus arrives kids are scattered everywhere jumping around and doing whatever they want to do and I am like someone needs to be on the bus with kids to tell them to sit down you need to be seated”, said Edwards.
But that’s just the beginning. While our camera is rolling we see a whole lot more: fists are flying, we witness what appears to be a child being beaten up right on the bus.
Mile after mile we see kids out of control. Shoes flying, little children pushed and shoved in the aisles, a back pack tossed around, children running around, out of their seats for the entire ride.
“It should have been nipped in the butt a long time ago and it’s not”, Edwards said.
Then we try another day. Again bus 83. At first glance – the kids are all seated. A good sign. But just moments later – a mob of kid’s breaks loose, chaos erupting this time, too. Running in the aisles, hands and feet flying everywhere and once again more punching.
We try day after day for answers. Even though Ms. Edwards says she tried repeatedly to get help for her little girl. We get this email response from the Milwaukee Public School spokeswoman. She tells me MPS only heard about one incident back in January and that they blame Ms Edwards little girl for that fight. Since January MPS says bus 83 has been just fine.
“We continue to monitor, and all has been quiet on this bus. Other than this single report by Ms. Edwards – which was resolved - there have been no reports of bullying on the bus by this parent or other parents, by any of the children, and no reports made by the bus driver.”
No reports of trouble. Not even from the driver. Pretty surprising considering what our cameras caught street after street, hour after hour both times we tried….
Ms Edwards pleads, “Something needs to be done, and someone needs to take control of this whole issue whether it’s the school or bus company.”
But for now it looks like these little students….stuck on bus 83 ….are on their own.
We want to know it this is happening on other busses. Here's my email firstname.lastname@example.org
or our I-Team hotline 967-5556. I want to know what you are seeing out there. In the meantime, we are pushing for answers about Bus 83--from the bus company, the principal, and the district. So stay tuned!