SHERMAN, TX - An 11-year-old boy threatened other students on a Sherman school bus with a knife, scaring children and worrying parents. But thanks to a quick acting bus driver, no one was hurt. Sherman Independent School District said they’re taking appropriate action and the buses are still a safe place for students.
Dillingham Intermediate 5th grader Ashley Puder says the bus can sometimes get rowdy on the way home from school, but never like Thursday afternoon, when one boy appeared to become upset because other students were throwing paper.
"Then we heard him scream, then he stood up and pulled out a knife, then I jumped back, I was completely scared, I was crying, I was in shock,” said Ashley as she described the scene.
Ashley says the 11-year-old boy was waving and slashing the pocket knife at other students.
"One kid he came and he held him back so he couldn't stab anybody, and then the bus driver came and he was basically jumping over seats to get to the kid with the knife,” said Ashley.
She said the bus driver restrained the boy and removed him from the bus. Sherman ISD says this bus driver did the right thing in reacting quickly to the situation.
"Our bus drivers undergo a tremendous amount of training and student intervention techniques and responded very quickly,” said Randy Reddell, the Director of Transportation for SISD.
Ashley’s mother, Rebecca Ruder, said she is thankful for the bus driver’s actions in preventing any students from getting hurt.
"I think the bus driver was a hero, we don't know his name because he was a substitute bus driver, but in my eyes he saved my daughter's life,” said Rebecca.
Even though no one was hurt, she still had deep concerns about the safety of her child, and felt other parents should be aware of what happened on the school bus Thursday afternoon. Ashley said when the boy flipped out the knife it was only about a foot from her face.
"That's the last thing I would expect to happen… and that's not something you want to come home from work and hear,” said Rebecca.
But the school District wanted to reassure parents they've taken the appropriate actions according to their code of conduct and safety. And with all the safety training and security cameras, school buses are still a very safe place for students.
"Anything regarding safety and security is never taken lightly; safety is always a serious thing and a priority,” said Reddell. “Without hesitation I would definitely say it's one of the safest modes of transportation available anywhere in the United States today.”
Due to privacy laws, Sherman ISD could not release any specifics on the consequences the boy is facing. But said they did complete a full investigation and are working closely with the Sherman Police Department in the matter.