This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," June 20, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: A 10-year-old boy goes through a scary experience on a school bus. Why is the 7th-grader being teased? And why did it turn violent? Joining us in Detroit is Chester Gala and his father, Eric. Welcome to both of you.
ERIC GALA, CHESTER'S FATHER: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Chester, what grades did you skip?
CHESTER GALA, ATTACKED ON SCHOOL BUS: Second and fourth.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why did you skip them?
CHESTER GALA: Because I was too smart for them.
VAN SUSTEREN: So that places you now in seventh grade, is that right, Chester?
CHESTER GALA: Yes, well, I'm on summer vacation, so I'm going to be in eighth grade.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. How old are you?
CHESTER GALA: Ten.
VAN SUSTEREN: How old are most of the kids at your school? Are they 12 years old? Since you skipped two, I assume that places them about 12.
CHESTER GALA: Yes, they're 12, 13, 14.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. All right, take me back to May 12. You were on the school bus. What happened, Chester?
CHESTER GALA: Well, I was looking back to just — I was looking back, and he said I couldn't look at him. I said, I can look where I want. And he — and he just, like, started talking to me and told me — asked me if I was afraid of him and stuff. And I said — and I said no and stuff. And then he just started pointing fingers at me, and I was blocking them out of my face. So then he finally got up and just started punching me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Eric, I imagine you've seen this video a bunch of times. It must make your blood boil every time you see it.
ERIC GALA: Yes, it does.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did you first learn, Eric, about what had happened on the bus?
ERIC GALA: Well, my wife called me, I was at work, and explained that Chetty had been beaten up on the bus. And I first asked if he was OK and did he want to go to the doctor or the hospital, and he said no, that wasn't necessary. So I immediately called the principal and explained to him what happened and that I was taking Chetty to the police department.
And it was pretty well downplayed, as far as what happened, and I was not able to see the film until the local media intervened and let the authorities know that I did have the right to see it. And once I saw the film, it was nothing like they had described it. It was extremely outrageous to or me to see that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Eric, it happened on May 12. When did you actually learn there was a video, and when did you actually get to see the video?
ERIC GALA: Well, I questioned that immediately, was there a video? And they said yes, there was. And I asked the principal to see it, and he said that it wasn't possible, in his view, that I need to talk to the bus superintendent. And I immediately went over to where she was, and I asked her. And she said that I would not be able to view it. And then I asked the police department. They told me the same thing, that I could not see it.
VAN SUSTEREN: About how many days later did you get to see it, Eric?
ERIC GALA: It wasn't until probably a couple of weeks later that I was able to see it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Chester, I take it you went back to school after the 12th. Did you, Chester?
CHESTER GALA: Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: What do the kids say about what happened on the bus? I mean, both kids who saw it and — you know, did you talk to the kids who punched you?
ERIC GALA: I didn't talk to them at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did any other kids say anything to you about it, Chester?
CHESTER GALA: Yes, they just asked me what happened and stuff.
VAN SUSTEREN: Chester, I mean, is it hard for you to go back to school? I mean, obviously, you went back from May 12 until you went on summer break. But — or is this something you can just sort of, you know, it was a bad experience, they are both being charged, and move on?
CHESTER GALA: Well, it wasn't something hard to go back to school for. It was just something that they should be punished for, big thing.
VAN SUSTEREN: And they've been — apparently, they've been charged today. Did you know that, Chester?
CHESTER GALA: Yes, I know that, but the one that punched me, it wasn't really a punishment for him to be suspended because I know he didn't like school, so that was sort of, like, something — it wasn't a punishment, it was, like, sort of a treatment for him. And the other kid, he just got to ride some special bus that they picked him up on because he couldn't ride my bus anymore.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, Chester, I want you to know we all admire you. None of us here has ever skipped a grade, let alone two. And you're tough. Chester, thank you. Eric, thank you, as well.
ERIC GALA: Thank you.
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