A Georgia bus driver has been arrested and charged after a video surfaced of him pushing two Black students in what their parents believe was a racially-motivated attack, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
James O’Neil, a longtime bus driver for the Morgan County Charter School System, was fired and now faces charges of simple battery in connection with the September 9 shoving recorded by a student.
“The investigation resulted in the arrest of James O’Neil on two counts of simple battery,” Morgan County Chief Deputy Keith Howard said in a statement. “While this was not a complex investigation, it was complicated by the allegation that the incident was perceived as being racially motivated.”
Nene and Blake Carter, the parents of the two primary students pushed by O'Neil, said they've pulled their six-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter from the school district as a result of the incident they believe was racially fueled.
The Carters alleged that the bus driver told their children to "sit in the back of the bus," despite primary students typically being seated in the front, per FOX 5 Atlanta.
Video shows O'Neil pushing the six-year-old boy into a seat at the front of the bus while he's crying.
In the video, the boy's sister can then be heard yelling, "Stop pushing my brother."
“Shut your mouth,” the bus driver says to the girl as he continues to push the boy, per the video.
O'Neil then appears to shove the girl, which seemingly causes her to stumble backward.
“What a pain in the neck you guys are," the bus driver says in the video. "Get back there.”
The children's mother believes O'Neil was only fired because video of the incident went viral.
“We feel like he was terminated because the story got more coverage than the Morgan County Charter School System would have liked,” said Carter. “It was rumored that they were just going to send him to be retrained.”