School bus fight leads to harassment charges against elementary school student – WPXI

PITTSBURGH — A school bus altercation has occurred that was apparently so serious that a mother won’t let her son return to the Faison Art Academy in Pittsburgh Public.

“He’s not the only one being bullied here, and it needs to stop,” said Donnance Castaphony, parent of a fifth-grade student at Faison Art Academy.

Castrophony’s 11-year-old son has autism and she says he is bullied at his elementary school. She has now filed harassment charges against her classmate after an incident last month in which the classmate got off at her bus stop.

“The young man jumped on my son’s back, pushing him all over the mud. The bus driver is a bit old, so two neighbors came out and broke up,” Castaphony said.

The district, however, told us that this was not bullying but a mutual fight, and instead offered to mediate.

In a statement, Pittsburgh Public Schools shared the following:

“The Pittsburgh Faison administration attempted to schedule mediation meetings between two students after the two were involved in a mutual fight…based on evidence, the incident was not a bullying issue,” said Ebony Pugh, director of public relations for PPS.

Donnance said his family had also been threatened by the student.

“The threats were bad,” Castaphony said.

These alleged threats led her not to allow her son to return to school.

“Why would an 11-year-old tell us that his father is going to shoot at my house?” Castophony asked.

After hearing these threats, Castrophony went to the school but said what she found there was even more disturbing.

“No incident report,” she said.

According to Castrophony, the school also said there was no monitor or camera on the bus at the time of the incident.

“They didn’t fix it until the classroom, but they changed his bus,” Castophony said.

The district confirmed that her son was now driving another van.

Castrophony said that was not enough, and after asking for more to be done, she said she was asked to leave the school and not return.

“I did nothing wrong to get banned from here, but I need him back in school,” Castophony said.

Channel 11 asked the district about the ban, and they confirmed they asked him not to return after a meeting got heated. The harassment case has an upcoming court date in April, and the fifth-grade Castophony student has still not returned to school after more than 30 days.

Martha K. Merrill