WATCH ABOVE: Just how safe are your kids on the school bus? One Edmonton boy had to be taken to hospital after a ride home last week. Eric Szeto reports.
EDMONTON — No parent should have to see their child step off the school bus bloodied and bandaged, says an Edmonton mother.
Sheila Goulet says her six-year-old, Joshua, is scared to go to school or even sleep alone since another boy attacked him on the bus home from St. Maria Goretti school Friday.
And she won’t put him back on the bus until she’s sure he’ll be safe.
“He was repeatedly punched. He was kicked. And his head was banged against the bus window until finally it was banged hard enough that it caused a cut in the back of his head, and he bled quite badly.
“It was devastating. It was horrible.”
Sheila and her husband had been waiting at Joshua’s bus stop for roughly 35 minutes, with no idea of what had happened or why he was delayed.
The bus driver had pulled over to administer first aid, then continued with his route.
A manager from the bus company, First Student, met the parents at the bus stop to explain. The Goulets didn’t hear from the school until about 5 p.m. that afternoon.
Lori Nagy, spokesperson for Edmonton Catholic Schools, said video from the bus was reviewed on Monday, and it appears the attack on Joshua was unprovoked.
The other boy was suspended from school for a week and from using the bus service indefinitely.
For the Goulets, that isn’t enough. They want to see better supervision on the bus.
“I’m not sure how they’re going to do that,” Sheila Goulet admitted. “Do we need to put supervisors on the buses? The bus drivers have to be able to drive.”
The board insists buses are safe for kids, but added it will review policies to see if they can be beefed up.
The bus company is also looking over its procedures. It sent Global News the following statement:
“The safety and security of the students we transport is our top priority at First Student. We were able to determine that this is a matter of student conduct. Our driver responded in accordance with the policies set forth by First Student and the school district.”
With files from Eric Szeto, Global News