Texas mother forced to pay $600 to watch footage of her 5-year-old girl being bullied on school bus
During the assault, the little girl calls out to the bus driver several times and starts crying as she continues to get hit by bullies. While the video does not show the entire bus ride, the bus driver does not seem to respond to her cries for help in the released segment.
A Dallas mother has revealed how she was told by her child's school district she would have to pay $600 to see footage of her five-year-old daughter being bullied on a school bus. Left with no choice, Audrey Billings complied -- only to be crushed by what she later witnessed, Fox8 reports.
“I was devastated, I cried,” she told CNN on Thursday.
The 5-year-old is seen in video from the November 11 incident being pushed and pulled around, poked with a pencil, and grabbed around the head by at least two students for almost 14 minutes. The footage also shows her trying to fight back, but in vain.
During the assault, the little girl calls out to the bus driver several times and starts crying as she continues to get hit by the bullies. While the video does not show the entire bus ride, the bus driver does not seem to respond to her cries for help in the released segment.
Also, it is yet to be understood what prompted the children's violent actions against the helpless five-year-old. Speaking to CNN, Billings said she is seeking a major change in the Dallas Independent School District’s bullying policy as well as its procedures for handling such incidents.
Nonetheless, Dallas ISD spokeswoman Robyn L. Harris claimed “students were disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct.”
“Dallas ISD has taken steps to improve our transportation services to further ensure the safety of students," she said. "The district has provided additional training and monitoring. We are dedicated to ensuring a safe environment for all students and remain committed to meeting the expectations of our parents and community.” Harris said in a statement.
According to Harris, the bus driver was removed from the route as soon as the incident became known. The embattled mother reached out to the school district after her daughter complained she was being assaulted by other students. When she spoke to the principal, Billings said she was initially only given the "play by play" of what actually happened.
And when she repeatedly demanded the videos be sent to her, school authorities allegedly told her she would need to pay $600 to have each section of the footage redacted. Billings, who revealed she had no choice but to pay for the one video that went viral, said her daughter no longer rides the school bus.