Deputies: Fla. dad threatened kids on bus who teased daughter suffering from cerebral palsy
SANFORD, Fla. – A father furious because his 13-year-old daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy had been bullied stormed onto a school bus and threatened the children who teased her, deputies in Florida said.
The girl had to be hospitalized because of stress from the confrontation. The father, James Willie Jones, was arrested Thursday after he stormed onto the bus two weeks ago and later released on bail. He hopes to apologize to the children, said his attorney, Natalie Jackson.
"The little girl was scared to go to school. There has to be something done about school bullying," Jackson said.
Jones boarded the school bus Sept. 3 because several boys were allegedly bullying his daughter, according to the sheriff's office report. He told deputies the boys placed an open condom on his daughter's head, smacked her on the back of her head, twisted her ear and shouted rude comments at her, the report said.
Video surveillance from the bus shows Jones asking his daughter to point out the students accused of harassing her. Jones is heard on the video threatening those who bully his daughter, and he also threatens the bus driver.
Jones then steps off the bus. Some children are heard laughing.
Jones told deputies he complained to Seminole County school administrators in the past but nothing had been done to help the girl, Jackson said.
School spokeswoman Regina Murray Klaers said in an e-mail that Jones did not express his concerns to school administrators. The incident that apparently upset Jones involved another girl, not his daughter, Klaers said. That incident was fully investigated, and appropriate action was taken, Klaers said.
Jones was charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function and later posted $2,000 bail. He was ordered to stay away from all county school buses and the bus driver.
Phone messages left Friday by The Associated Press at a home number listed for Jones were not immediately returned.