Police: Bus Driver Staged Fight Between Students

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A local bus driver is facing several charges after reportedly staging a fight between two arguing students in an attempt to resolve the conflict.

The trouble began Thursday when two children – a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old – on a bus full of high school and middle school students were disagreeing, according to WTSP-10.

When the driver, Patrice Sanders, noticed the problem, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

“This is going to be handled today and they just need to fight,” the 29-year-old driver said, according to the station.

Sanders, who had picked up children from Gause Academy, Summerlin Academy and Bartow High School, drove 20 miles to her home. Once they arrived, she ordered all of the children off of the bus.

The driver then told the girls to fight, which they eventually did as the other students watched and taped the incident. On their cell phone videos, Sanders can be seen watching.

The fight only ended when both girls were too tired to continue, WTSP-10 is reporting.

She also did nothing to treat the girls for any injuries, though she reportedly searched for Vaseline or baby oil to keep the girls from getting scratched on their faces.

The mother of the 13-year-old student contacted police later that night when she learned of the scuffle.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told WTSP-10 during a press conference that Sanders is now facing multiple charges – including child abuse, child neglect, false imprisonment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor – and that other charges are pending.

He added, “Come on, girl! What were you thinking?”

Sanders has also been suspended without pay after only being employed by the Polk County School Board for eight months. A recommendation for her termination has also been made, the station learned.

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