A Lebanon High School student fled from a school bus Friday afternoon after he apparently assaulted another student and kicked out a window to escape, according to officials.
Wilson County school resource officer supervisor Lt. Scott Moore said the incident happened at about 2:30 p.m. as the bus was traveling on Baddour Parkway in Lebanon near Don Fox Park.
Moore said a verbal argument between two students escalated when one of the students turned around and the other hit him several times in the back of his head with his fist. He said the bus pulled into the turning lane at Don Fox Park.
Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright said initial reports indicated the student then kicked out a window on the bus, went through it and fled into a wooded area across the street from the park. Moore said an SRO at the scene received conflicting statements from other students on the bus as to how the window was broken.
Moore said deputies arrived shortly after and couldn’t find the student after a search of the area. Wright said the student was identified and his mother and aunt were notified of the incident. Moore said the student was a juvenile.
Both Moore and Wright said school officials and SROs would review video from a camera on the bus Monday to determine exactly what happened. Moore said the video has to be retrieved by school officials and turned over to deputies for review.
“It’s Friday afternoon, and we have a weekend ahead of us,” Wright said. “The weekend complicates it. The video on the bus will be critical, because it will tell us the whole story.”
Moore said students were delayed getting home about 30 minutes, because another school bus was called out due to the shattered window. He said the student who was hit had no visible marks on him and was otherwise uninjured. No other students reported injuries.
“Violence on school buses is very dangerous, not only for us, but also the general public,” Moore said. “One thing we are not going to tolerate is violence on school buses. We plan to prosecute at the highest level possible. We will also work with the school system just like they work with us.”
Moore said the student could face disorderly conduct, assault, vandalism and reckless endangerment charges. Additionally, Wright said he faces disciplinary action for fighting on a school bus and destruction of school property.
She said it’s not known if the student who was hit would be disciplined or if audio would be available from the video.
“If he is the initiator, he’s going to be in trouble,” Wright said. “The video will tell us more Monday.”
Wright said despite the incident, the first day of school was successful.
“I’m still putting it up as a victory,” she said. “In my 32 years, it was the smoothest start to school I’ve ever been involved with.”
Moore, who visited several schools Friday, agreed.
“Other than this incident, I believe this was a successful first day of school,” he said. “It’s unfortunate we had this incident, but we are not going to tolerate situations like this.”