Parents react to Va. Beach bus fight video

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Parents of Renaissance Academy students are calling for changes after seeing cell phone video of a school bus fight.

10 On Your Side first aired the video Friday, but Novalyn Thomas, the parent of a seventh grader at Renaissance Academy, saw it for the first time Monday, when WAVY.com showed it to her.

“It could have escalated into anything,” Thomas said. “The bus driver could have had an accident by the kids fighting on the bus.”

Renaissance Acadeny genericThe school director found out about the video after dismissal Friday, but still hasn’t officially notified parents.

The video shows two male students landing punch after punch in the back of a school bus. Other kids are cheering in the background. The video ends with a handshake, as if it were all planned, and Virginia Beach City Public School officials say it was. The school director said the students staged the whole thing and could face serious punishment.

One student told 10 On Your Side the fight was meant to be fun, saying, “It takes us nearly an hour to get home, and we do anything we can to entertain ourselves.”

School officials say the driver was behind the wheel, focusing on the road. They say the driver tried to pull over, but the afternoon traffic on Witchduck Road was heavy. By the time he could do so safely, the kids were already shaking hands. The fight was over.

Thomas would like to see aides assigned to rowdy buses so drivers are not distracted.

The school system does not believe the driver was in on the planned fight, and he most likely won’t be punished. Students could face serious consequences, once the investigation is complete.

You can count on 10 On Your Side to keep you informed on any developments in the investigation.

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