Broken Arrow Public Schools Releases School Bus Camera Of Driver Incident

In the video, you can hear kids yelling, swearing, and crying while the driver repeatedly tells them to be quiet and sit down.

Monday, October 16th 2023, 10:53 pm



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News On 6 has a video from a Broken Arrow school bus showing what led to a bus driver being fired and arrested after being accused of refusing to let students off a bus on Friday.

In the video, you can hear kids yelling, swearing, and crying while the driver repeatedly tells them to be quiet and sit down.

The kids' faces are blurred in the video, but you can hear them screaming at the driver for several minutes when he pulled over and told them he wouldn’t move until they calmed down.

The driver tells the kids no matter what their parents did, he wasn’t going to let them off the bus.

“No, you’re not going to get home in 10 minutes,” said the driver.

The video from inside the bus shows the driver, Thomas Young, telling kids they needed to stay in their seats and be quiet.

The district says Young worked there for a year with no complaints, and this was his second day on a new route, and was late, so the kids were already agitated.

The district says an administrator had been on the bus twice before it left to try to get the kids under control.

“I run my bus a certain way,” said Young. “I don’t care what the other bus drivers do. You obey me.”

In the video, Young pulls over the bus and tells the kids he won’t move until they start behaving.

Some kids can be heard telling other kids to follow the rules.

Some of the kids can also be heard telling the driver their parents had shown up to pick them up and were banging on the bus windows.

“I don’t care if your mom’s there,” said Young. “Makes no difference to me. You’re not going with your mom.”

When kids attempt to get off the bus, the driver also holds his arm out to stop the kids from leaving.

At this point, witnesses called 911 after hearing the kids yelling out the windows for help.

Broken Arrow Police arrested Young for kidnapping and child abuse.

The district has said that Young is no longer working for the district, and another bus driver has taken over this route.

The district says that kids were also jumping out the back emergency exit while it was moving, but it’s not clear in the video because of the blurring.

Police, District On The Incident

“They were already frustrated as well with student behaviors being what they were," said Tara Thompson. "Things continued to escalate, and our driver did not respond the way we hoped he would have responded.”

Tara Thompson with the district said Young drove from the middle school down Albany Street, and kids were yelling. Young stopped the bus several times and yelled back.

Police said drivers called 911 after seeing kids screaming for help out the windows and trying to jump out of the emergency exit.

“The children were acting disorderly on the bus," said Broken Arrow Police Capt. Josh McCoy. "It was stopped to wait for administrators to respond. He decided to drive forward while kids attempted to exit.”

Young pulled into Creekwood Elementary, and officers arrived. The district said a different bus driver picked the students up from Creekwood and finished the route, dropping the kids off at each of their stops.

An arrest report said lots of parents knocked on the bus to get their kids off, but Young refused to let them.

“He was obviously under a great deal of mental distress," said Tabitha Arain.

Tabitha Arain’s 12-year-old daughter was on the bus, and Tabitha says her daughter was crying and stressed out. But Tabitha thinks the students were targeting Young, and the arrest was overboard.

“It was really just the perfect storm and was handled really poorly," Arain said.

“We have about 100 drivers in the district, and I don't want this one incident to characterize the rest of these men and women," said Thompson.

The school has counselors for any kids who were upset by the event.

The district also said an assistant principal will be on that bus for the next couple of days to watch over the kids and the new driver.

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