Bus driver slapping child points to dysfunction in school district


The Cottons son told them that his school driver had hit him. When they appealed to the Escambia County Public School District for help, the parents were told they had to talk with Superintendent Malcolm Thomas, but the superintendent would not return their call.

Their son, a nine-year-old special needs student at Holms Elementary, had been having troubling for weeks with the driver of his school bus, Pamela Hardy. Video from the bus showed Hardy striking their son without any provocation. Cottons told the Independent News that Hardy had been harassing her son for quite some time, even driving him once to the county jail and telling the boy to get off the bus.

When Thomas wouldn’t return their call, the Cottons took the matter to the Pensacola Police Department. The police arrested Hardy this week and charged her with child cruelty without great bodily harm.

The questions are: Why didn’t the school district report this to law enforcement? Shouldn’t the parents have received an apology from the school district?