A 12th-grader from Woodlawn High cursed and attacked her school bus driver Friday morning, causing a near crash of the loaded vehicle on Burbank Boulevard, authorities said.
Shanetra Daniels, 18, was upset with the driver because the driver passed her school bus stop just before 6:30 a.m., forcing the teen to walk to another one, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.
Daniels cursed the driver and told her she wanted to fight, Hicks said. The driver warned Daniels that she would be written up if she didn’t behave.
At that point, Daniels got up from her seat in the back of the bus, walked to the front and hit the driver from behind, knocking her glasses off and causing her to slam on the brakes of the bus, Hicks said.
The bus almost hit another vehicle before it stopped in the right lane of the 10,000 block of Burbank near Bluebonnet Boulevard, Hicks said.
Daniels fell and hit the front windshield, breaking it, Hicks said. The student then got up and hit the driver repeatedly.
Other students on the bus pulled Daniels off the driver before deputies arrived on scene, Hicks said.
The driver has some swelling on the right side of her face and Daniels had a small bump on her forehead, Hicks said. Both women were treated for their injuries on scene.
Daniels, 8322 Ned Ave., was arrested and booked into Parish Prison on a count of battery of a schoolteacher.
Chris Trahan, a spokesman for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, said Daniels is being recommended for expulsion as a result of the attack.
“Our drivers deserve the right to drive in peace,” Trahan said. “When students act up on a school bus, it puts the other children in danger.”
School System Transportation Director Bill Talmadge said he was alarmed by the attack.
In his eight years running the department, Talmadge said he’s dealt with students making verbal threats against a driver, but not physically attacking a driver while the driver is driving.
“It’s pretty serious,” Talmadge said. “The driver has a 26,000-pound bus. It’s raining and it’s dark. And she’s got an 18-year-old girl beating on her.”
“Even after it stopped and she hit the windshield, she got up and started again,” Talmadge said.
“This is just a problem child,” he said he suspects.
“I’m sure when they look into it they’ll find something else in her background.”
As far as the driver, the school system is paying to have her checked out by a doctor, Talmadge said. Another driver was called in to run the driver’s afternoon bus routes.
Talmadge said at the next monthly school bus driver safety meeting he’s inviting a police officer to talk to drivers about what they should do if they have a fight involving older kids on the bus.