300,000 sign petition backing bus driver who slapped child, 12, for running into street

A petition supporting a French bus driver who faces disipline for slapping a 12-year-old boy who ran into the street has gained more than 300,000 signatures as of Friday, reports said.

The bus driver was forced to "sharply hit the brakes and rough up customers inside" to avoid striking the boy Sept. 13 in the Greater Paris area, the petition said, according to Euronews.com.

The driver also yelled at the boy to pay attention, to which the 12-year-old yelled back, "Shut up, go on, move on," the BBC reported.

In a video that has since gone viral, the driver exited the bus, approached the boy and slapped him across his face.

The video, first posted on Snapchat, has been uploaded on Facebook and viewed more than 1.2 million times as of Friday.

The driver reportedly called out the youth "like any parent would have done."

But the boy's mother has filed a complaint against the driver, according to Tribune Media Wire.

RATP, the Paris transport authority, condemned the driver's actions and launched disciplinary procedures against him, the report said.

The agency said the driver, a father of two teens, expressed regret for "reacting emotionally," according to the Wire.

The petition describes the driver as "known for his kindness, Olympic calm and patience," Euronews.com reported.

Supporters on social media said the boy exhibited "bad behavior" and disrespect, the BBC reported.