Sheriff: Middle school student choked 9-year-old on the bus

A Pickens County middle schooler is now charged with battery after Sheriff's Deputies said he assaulted a 9-year-old student on the school bus.

The student's mother said she's outraged she found out about the incident weeks after it happened. The Sheriff's Office said the incident happened in December, but the student's mom said she was never notified by the school.

"It's mind bogglingg really to know that something this severe slipped through the cracks," said Kayla Worley, the mother of the fourth grade student.

Worley said she was blindsided by the letter she recieved in the mail from the Pickens County court naming her son as a victim to an assault. The aggressor, a middle school student, was charged with battery.

"The video shows...the one child was choking the other child, for a couple of seconds, he stopped and then he began choking the child again," said Major June Blackwell, of the Pickens County Sheriff's Office."They went down between the seats, and the other children were yelling at the child who was charged to stop choking him."

"My child was turning colors, and that's not just horseplay," said Worley.

Worley said her son was too scared to tell her when it happened.

"When he was being squished against the window, he tried to push the bully away from him and thought he would get in trouble for that," said Worley.

A school resource officer reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office, and then Worley was notified by the court. Worley said she still cannot believe no one from her child's school let her know.

"It was traumatizing that he was scared that if he tried to defend himself that he would be in trouble," said Worley.

She asked the school to transfer her son, and the school denied the request. Still, she's hoping they'll reconsider.

"The only thing I get told is they're sorry, it should've been handled better, and they promise my kids are safe, and it wont happen again, which is not really an answer," said Worley. She did say the school told her it has since changed its bus policy after this incident.

FOX 5 reached out to the Pickens County School District, and it did not have a comment since this case is still under investigation. 

As for the middle schooler, the Sheriff's Office says he's been permanently banned from riding the bus.