Parent accused of threatening, assaulting Corriher-Lipe Elementary School bus driver

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

CHINA GROVE — A school bus driver was reportedly assaulted on Monday during her after-school route when a parent entered the bus and began shouting obscenities in front of the students.

The incident occurred on Willow Oaks Drive shortly after 4 p.m., when the bus driver, who was transporting Corriher-Lipe Middle School students, reportedly missed a student’s stop.

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, when the student brought it up to the driver, she told the child she would have to return to the stop. The student notified the driver that the mother was on the phone and that she was insisting her child get off at the next stop.

Per Rowan-Salisbury Schools policy, students cannot get off the bus except at the pre-approved stops, so the driver declined.

When the bus driver returned to the missed stop, the mother was waiting. According to the sheriff’s office, the mother aggressively entered the bus and began shouting obscenities and threatening the bus driver.

During the exchange, the woman reportedly struck the bus driver in the right eye with her left index finger.

Shortly after that, a man approached the bus and summoned the mother to exit, but the yelling persisted even after she was off the bus.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools District said, “Rowan-Salisbury Schools holds school buses as sacred spaces where only those who belong are allowed. A school bus leaves the security of campus and goes out among the community into public spaces. For that reason, the bus driver is the gatekeeper of safety for the students on that bus.

“The safety protocols in place are to protect all students and the driver while out in these public spaces. Because of this enormous responsibility, school bus drivers are only allowed to drop off students at their assigned locations regardless of parent preference, and by law, no one is allowed to trespass upon a public school bus.”

In a Thursday phone call, the school spokesperson said, “(The bus driver) acted according to the safety protocol in terms of only dropping students off at designated stops.”

According to the spokesperson, the district determined that the driver did not respond to the parent with anything that would require reprimand.