WALTON COUNTY, Ga. - The father of a middle school student who jumped out of a Walton County bus on Wednesday said his son did it to get away from bullies.
The 11-year-old boy is recovering from a concussion and a broken elbow. Family said they notified the school of previous incidents and this one pushed the boy too far.
"Death. [That's the] first thing I'm thinking when I hear you jumped out a vehicle because I'm curious if it was moving and I'm thinking about moving traffic and I was concerned he'd get ran over or killed," Dion Murphy said.
"I believe he was trying to escape the situation. At this moment he felt back was up against the wall," he said.
Murphy said he watched a video from the bus at a meeting with the Youth Middle School principal on Friday.
"One student jumped in his face, he was pushing him against the window, when he fell, the other student took his shoe and in a desperate attempt to escape it, he jumped out the window," he said.
Rescue crews respond to the scene along Georgia Highway 81 in Walton County after an 11-year-old boy jumps from a school bus on May 5, 2021. (Walton County Sheriff's Office)
Investigators said the 11-year-old boy landed on top of a pickup truck and then fell on the highway on the route home.
"It broke my heart because this is something that shouldn't have ever happened, way before this matter happened," he said.
Murphy said older students have bullied his son on the bus all year and met with school leaders in March. Friday's meeting addressed all the reports.
"I recently saw a tape that a girl was hitting on him as well. There's another tape of him being dragged down the aisle, there's more video of the boys from this May 5th situation," Murphy said. "There's more tapes and that's why I'm so upset because the school neglected the bullying act and did not do anything about it. They took it as horse-play, but my son could have lost his life."
"These generation's, kids are even killing themselves because they're being bullied," he said.
A representative for Walton County Schools did not provide FOX 5 with a copy of the videos, but they did send a statement:
"Following a bus incident on May 5, a Walton County School District student sustained minor, non-life-threatening injuries. The other students and driver on the bus were not injured. School and district officials are aware of the bullying allegations made in connection with this event. The Walton County School District does not tolerate bullying and harassment of any kind. The incident is being thoroughly investigated by school officials and any disciplinary issues that may arise will be handled appropriately at the school level."
The school has not commented on the disciplinary action it has or will take. The 11-year-old is no longer enrolled at Youth Middle School.
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