The Denver district attorney has refused to file criminal charges in response to a physical altercation between two Denver Public School (DPS) school bus employees and a parent of a student that went viral.
The school bus was en route from Denver Green School Northfield on Sept. 18 when the driver made two unscheduled stops to address a student behavioral issue. A bus monitor was also on board at the time. The bus driver eventually radioed for assistance.
Students began texting and calling their parents about the situation. This prompted some parents to show up at the location where the bus was stopped. But the bus driver did not allow the students to exit. One parent, Brandi Martin, climbed onto the bus and allegedly hit the DPS employees.
Video of the incident shows Martin fighting her way onto the bus to retrieve her child. The mother can be seen repeatedly striking one of the transportation employees in the face with a closed fist.
On Tuesday, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said the incident quickly escalated, then became difficult and emotional for all involved.
“…[T]he bus driver and monitor were confronted with a challenging situation in which some students caused enough of a disturbance that for safety reasons, the driver pulled over to try and calm matters,” she added in a statement.
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McCann said that an allegation brought by a student that there was inappropriate touching on the bus was baseless. She explained that the claim was attributed to the quick unfolding of events.
McCann continued that when the bus was stopped, the screaming by students further concerned the parent, which led to heightened tension inside and outside the bus.
“Given all the circumstances, my office will not be filing any criminal charges arising out of this incident,” McCann concluded. “The DPS employees were in a difficult situation and believed they were handling matters as best they could. Ms. Martin was concerned about her child and took action that she believed was appropriate. Criminal charges are not warranted, although I hope that the parties are able to move forward and recognize the respective positions of those involved.”
DPS announced on its website this morning that some members of the transportation team may not come into work in response to the incident and the district attorney’s announcement. However, the buses were running at normal levels of service.