James drives a school bus for Bay District Schools, picking up and dropping off students at Bay High, Everitt Middle and New Horizons School.
Friday afternoon began like any other day for James until he caught a student sneaking onto his bus at the wrong stop. Then, the last thing he expected to happen happened.
James said, "This kid sneaked up behind me and punched me four or five times in the head, in the jaw, and I was trying to get out of my seat belt, but I couldn't get out of my seat belt.”
Authorities quickly arrested the 16-year-old who's now charged with battery on a school official, a third degree felony, but James is still terrified to get back on a school bus. He says cameras may record an attack, but they don't prevent it from happening.
However, there are options to take. The supervisor of transportation says bus drivers can request an assistant in certain situations.
Ken Phillips, Supervisor of Transportation, said, "They can ask for a bus attendant to ride with them if they gage a situation to be unsafe."
That attendant will ride along as long as the driver deems necessary, and an extra set of eyes watching for misbehavior allows the driver's eyes to concentrate on his job of watching the road.