YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police and school officials are investigating an incident of school bus roughhousing that landed a first grader in the hospital. The little girl lost consciousness when students sitting behind her pulled her scarf.
On Wednesday, her mother and the child spoke exclusively to CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
Gianna Isidoro is home from the hospital after a terrifying ordeal. The 6-year-old was choked unconscious on her school bus.
“I fell on the floor and I was trying to take it off. I couldn’t breathe or talk,” Gianna said.
Her mother said the red marks on Gianna’s face aren’t freckles but signs of the brute pressure from a scarf pulled tightly by three elementary school boys sitting on the bus behind her.
“I worry so much. I want them to have now somebody on the bus to watch over them,” Edibette Sanchez said.
The incident happened Tuesday during Gianna’s ride home from Charles E. Walters Elementary School. Longwood School District officials said the bus driver immediately pulled over to check on the student and then contacted dispatch, which called 9-1-1.
Parents are hailing the bus driver’s actions, but said asking the driver to monitor everything is a bit much.
“I don’t think a bus driver can handle what’s going on in the bus while concentrating on getting the kids safely to school. I think they definitely need aides,” one parent said.
Brianna’s mother said this is the third time she has been physically bullied in a year.
“First, last year in kindergarten, she came home with a scratch, and then within a few months she was punched in the stomach,” Sanchez said. “Now, the third time, she almost died. What is going to happen next time, not only to her but to any other child?”
Gianna’s grandfather said it’s about parenting.
“The way they’re raising up these kids, like little devils,” he said.
“I’m afraid to go back on the bus,” Gianna added.
A district statement said: “The students involved are very young elementary children, and while this type of behavior is never appropriate, it is our understanding that there was never any malicious intent.”
There was no response to calls for additional bus aides.
Gianna’s scarf was taken by police as part of the investigation and the district said it will review the video from inside the bus to determine possible disciplinary action.
The district is urging the community to speak with children about respecting others and appropriate behavior on the bus.