The rape of an 18-year-old woman in the back of a Los Angeles County transit bus that was ignored by other passengers contains lessons to be learned by student transporters, according to a legal expert.
Making matters even worse, the victim reportedly has a disability that causes her to have the mental capacity of a 10-year-old. And, yes, the woman was returning home after school, but it was not clear if that was a high school or a local college. Regardless, Peggy Burns, owner of Education Compliance Group and former in-house council for Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Thornton, Colo., said the attack caught on bus video could just have easily occurred on a school bus.
"Each school transportation supervisor needs to share this awful story with their team, and ask: 'Could this happen on one of our buses?'" Burns told School Transportation News.
She added that one part of the Metro Magazine article particularly resonated with her, that being one passenger who apparently tried to alert the driver of the rape simply got up and departed the bus when it came to her stop without saying a word. Another troubling report, she said, was that some of the passengers may have not known a rape was occurring because the suspect was standing up at the rear of the bus with his back facing other passengers while the victim remained seated.
"For 10 minutes? On a county bus, are there rules about passengers standing?" asked Burns. "There certainly such rules on school buses; yet, often, legal cases portray students as standing and even moving while uses are in motion.
"What steps supervisors will take to ensure that a similar attack would not – or could not – happen on one of their buses?"
A suspect was arrested. The article says the incident was the third rape to be reported on a county transit bus this year.