Bus driver accused of paying child to beat another

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2003

PEDRO -- The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office

and other state and local agencies have been asked to investigate an allegation that a Rock Hill School District bus driver paid a student on her bus $5 to assault another, younger student.

Chief Deputy Gary Akers said yesterday that deputies have spoken with the parents of the child who was allegedly assaulted and are investigating the complaint.

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A Florida attorney Jack Thompson said Randy and Denise Littlejohn of Kitts Hill have taken their 6-year-old son off the bus and have sought psychiatric counseling for him.

The bus driver "apparently paid for these beatings in order to show that … the driver, is 'in charge.'

The girl who administered these beatings has admitted she was paid by this bus driver to do so, and there are other witnesses to the payment and the beatings as well,"

Thompson wrote in an e-mail to The Ironton Tribune.

Thompson said since the incident, child has displayed serious emotional stress, prompting his parents to

seek professional guidance."So severe has this experience been that this sweet little boy has told his parents that he wants to commit suicide, and he has told them where in the yard to bury him," Thompson wrote.

Thompson said the Littlejohns contacted school officials about the incident, but have not received a satisfactory response to their complaint. The Littlejohns contacted Thompson after seeing him on a national morning talk show. Thompson said he has has previously represented the families of children killed in the Paducah, Ky., school shooting.

The Littlejohns' complaint follows on the heels of another complaint by Brent and Amanda Unroe, of Kitts Hill. The Unroes

claim their children are discriminated against because they are African-American, and that Brent Unroe lost his job as a special education teacher in the school district because he and his wife have adopted an African-American child and are in the process of adopting two more. They have taken their complaint to the Columbus office of the NAACP. That organization's first vice-president, Asad Shabbazz requested a meeting with school officials to resolve the issue.

The Ironton Tribune contacted Rock Hill School Superintendent Lloyd Evans for his comments on the matter, but he did not return calls.