A father of an elementary school student is accused of punching a Boston Public Schools bus driver in the face earlier this week, authorities said.
At about 4:39 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, Boston police were called for a report of an assault and battery in progress on Wollaston Terrace in Dorchester, according to a police report obtained by the Globe.
The school bus driver told police that the bus was stopped outside of 118 Woodrow Ave. The suspect got onto the school bus and allegedly began to punch him in the face, and said “don’t mess with my kid,” according to the report.
The bus driver’s lower lip was “busted and bloody” and his left eye was swollen and red. He was taken by EMS to Boston Medical Center, the report stated.
The suspect, identified as a father of a student at the Taylor Elementary School in Mattapan, fled in a black Nissan sedan in an unknown direction, the police report states.
According to the police report, the bus driver had an interaction with the student the day before. At about 4:35 p.m. Monday, officers responded to Woodrow Avenue and Lyford Street in Dorchester and spoke to the student’s mother, who said her daughter alleged that she was “pushed backward” by the bus driver.
The school driver told police that the student was standing up on the bus directly next to him while it was in motion and when he stepped on the brakes she fell forward and he caught her with his right hand to prevent her from falling head first.
The bus driver said he “has to constantly remind the children on the bus to sit down until the bus comes to a full stop, which they continually fail to do,” the police report stated.
Max Baker, a spokesman for the Boston Public Schools, said the district is working with BPS Safety Services, Boston police, and the school bus drivers’ union to “ensure all staff and students are safe on our buses.”
“We cannot reiterate enough our belief that violence of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Boston Public Schools or on our school buses,” Baker said in a statement.
“Our bus drivers work incredibly hard every day to ensure that students are safely transported to and from school. It is essential that we have community support to keep our students and staff safe. We will continue working with Transdev and USW Local 8751 to provide ongoing support to the driver. Boston Public Schools will also cooperate with any investigation into this incident,” the statement continued.
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper and Dan Rosengard, the district’s executive director of transportation, sent a letter to bus drivers stating that they were “outraged and disappointed” about what transpired on the bus.
“Boston Public Schools takes the safety of all students and staff who travel on our buses very seriously,” the letter said. “It is unconscionable for the safety of a school bus driver to be compromised.”
A trauma response team was providing support to students who may have witnessed this incident, the letter said.
Taylor School Principal Jennifer Marks also sent a letter to parents notifying them of the incident.
“A substitute bus driver was sent to transport the students home on the bus,” Marks said in the letter to parents. “Boston Police will investigate this incident, and disciplinary action from law enforcement is also possible.”
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