Bus driver slaps a student in the face on a school bus

Diana Prater, a bus driver for Coffee County Schools, allegedly slapped a student in the face after the juvenile bit her.

The incident happened on a school bus, after the bus driver attempted to separate two students that were fighting.

According to an incident report of Hassan Peterson, officer with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department, he was made aware of an incident that occurred on a school bus about 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 27. The incident involved two students and Prater.

On Aug. 28, Peterson reviewed the bus footage of the incident in the presence of Director of Coffee County Schools Dr. Charles Lawson, according to the report.

On the following day, Peterson spoke with Prater.

Prater told the officer that on the day of the incident, when she turned on Ogles Cemetery Rd., without a warning, the two students started exchanging punches.

Prater stopped the bus and tried to separate the two students, according to the report. Prater wrapped her arm around one of the students and “it appears this is when Prater received a significant bite to the middle of the left forearm” from of the student, the report states.

Prater was able to successfully separate the two students and instructed one of the students to go to the front of the bus, but the student “responded by spitting on Prater” while using vulgar language.

Prater’s “acute stress reaction was to slap (the student) in the face once with an open hand,” according to the report.

“Prater stated she attempted to apologize to the (student). However, the student was still extremely irate and using profanities. Approximately 5 minutes later, (the student) was dropped off at her bus stop. Prater stated she informed (the student’s) stepmother about what occurred on the bus. (The student), still irate, began using profane language toward her stepmother and grandfather,” according to the report.

Prater stated “her primary mission was to protect the younger children on the bus,” according to the report.

According to a story published by News Channel 5, the teenager is due in court in October.

The Times reached out to Lawson for comments and to find out if there will be any repercussions for Prater; however, he didn’t respond.