TULSA, Okla. — We’re learning about two more students who said they were hurt when they tried stopping eight students from beating up a transgender boy on a Tulsa School Bus. FOX23 first reported the incident last week.
Jacob Ferguson said he was involved in a fight on a school bus leaving Memorial Middle School. He said he and his sister were defending Levi, the transgender student, and got involved in the fight.
“I look over and I see a whole bunch of girls fighting my friend Levi and my sister. I had to push a girl off of my friend Levi and sister,” he said.
Jacob recalls the moment when he says more than eight girls jumped Levi and his sister, then another boy stepped in.
“A guy grabbed my sister by her hair and pulled her to a seat. My sister, all she could do is try to get him off of her, then he was beating on her head. I looked at him like ‘oh, you want to hit my sister?’ I went over there and punched him a couple of times then he socked me in my face,” Jacob said.
He said he knew he had to protect his sister.
“Boys are not suppose to hit girls. Especially not my sister,” he said.
According to Tulsa Public Schools, “Our school teams are committed to ensuring that our schools are safe and supportive places where young people can learn, grow, and thrive. We hold everyone in our community to the highest standards of behavior and have processes in place for responding to student behavioral issues.”
TPS goes on to say bus drivers are trained to respond to any incident that occurs on the bus by securing the bus in a safe location, assisting students, and contacting Campus Police.
Jacob, his sister and Levi return to school Wednesday.
Due to TPS policy, we do not know the disciplinary actions for the other students involved.
Jacob’s mother tells me there’s a safety meeting Wednesday morning before the kids go back to class to express concerns and share what can be done.
A full statement about the incident can be read below:
Tulsa Public Schools has 33,211 students at 78 schools across our city. These young people are focused on learning, making friends, and building their skills as artists, musicians, athletes, writers, scientists, mathematicians, and future world-changing leaders. Our students are also navigating a rapidly changing world and learning to productively engage with others while managing their own emotions. This means that students can sometimes make poor decisions that result in disciplinary action.
Our school teams are committed to ensuring that our schools are safe and supportive places where young people can learn, grow, and thrive. We hold everyone in our community to the highest standards of behavior and have processes in place for responding to student behavioral issues. We ask for and expect our young people to treat each other with fairness, kindness, and respect. While we cannot share information about specific students, we can share that our team members respond to behavioral issues swiftly and take appropriate follow up actions based on our Behavior Response Plan. When our Campus Police team is involved in incident response, our officers use a number of de-escalation techniques based on best practices for student and school safety. In very limited instances, to prevent others from getting injured, this may include the deployment of OC spray.
We have the same expectations for student behavior regardless of whether they are in the classroom or on the bus. Our bus drivers are trained to respond to any incident that occurs on a bus by securing the bus in a safe location, checking on and assisting students, and - as needed - contacting Campus Police for assistance. Students who are involved in altercations on our buses may have their ridership suspended for a period of time based on severity of the incident. Students may also face disciplinary action with their school based on the Behavior Response Plan.
Nothing is more important than ensuring that all of our students feel safe, secure, and supported. The most important way to help keep our students safe is for parents and family members to talk to their children about the importance of making smart and safe choices at school and on the bus. Parents can also encourage their children to follow their school classroom charters, which lay out procedures and action steps for having successful and safe interactions at school. We also encourage everyone in our community to report safety concerns to our safety hotline, which is staffed around-the-clock, by calling 918-480-SAFE, texting 480SAFE, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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