Girl dragged by bus, mom speaks out

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Nettleton School District is without a bus driver after he closed the door on a child's backpack and dragged her a few feet down the road.

That child, 9-year-old Kayla Long attends University Heights Elementary School.

Her sister, Kirsey Long, witnessed the entire incident.

"Kayla was getting off the bus slowly and the bus driver closed the door and started going and she got stuck on it," said Kirsey Long. "Me and my friend ran to her after the bus stopped and she was crying."

A Jonesboro incident report states on Wednesday afternoon, Kayla was getting off the bus when her backpack got closed in the door.

The driver of the bus didn't realize what was happening and drove a few feet before noticing Kayla was still stuck in the bus door.

Kayla's mom was outraged by the event.

"This should have never happened," said Crystal Bates, Kayla's mom. "My daughter could be gone right now due to that mistake."

Bates said the event has left her daughter traumatized

"She doesn't want to ride the bus anymore," said Crystal. "She doesn't even want to go to school because the kids are starting to pick on her about the event."

Crystal said her daughter wasn't just affected emotionally.

"We took her to the doctor, and the doctor said she has severe bruising on her shoulder and she is not to wear any backpacks for the time being," said Crystal.

Greg Rainwater, the Nettleton School District's transportation director, said they have taken the matter very seriously.

"We acted seriously and quickly," said Rainwater. "We train our bus drivers well, but that should have never have happened, and we will work hard so that it doesn't happen again."

Crystal said though she is upset that her daughter was affected by this incident, she is happy the district took the appropriate action.

"It makes me feel a lot better because at first, I felt that they were not going to do anything, and that shows the lack of care for our children that we put in our school system because we are leaving them in their responsibility but knowing that they did that it means a lot because that just shows that they are there for the children and not for the money," said Crystal.

Crystal added that she wants this situation to be a reminder to other districts and bus drivers to always be alert and aware of those who ride the bus.

According to Rainwater, that bus driver is no longer with the district.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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