HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County School District is looking into allegations of disturbing behavior on a school bus that travels back and forth from Brandon and Tampa.
Two parents tell ABC Action News that their students have opened up about how as many as four boys are putting their crotches in girls faces on bus 5598.
“Its just like, it's not right for a boy to touch her, put his hands on her, lean up on her when it’s not wanted,” said Stephanie Salcedo, an older sister of one of the girls.
Salcedo said her younger sister goes to an all-girls school in Tampa, but she rides the school bus with boys who all go to different schools.
“She goes to an all-girls school to avoid this, and then she gets on the bus and has to have this happen,” said Salcedo.
A second family has also come forward about her daughter being too scared to ride the bus.
Julie Savoia says her 12-year-old daughter hasn’t been victimized, but she’s scared to ride the bus because of what she claims to see.
“Boys grabbing these young girls by the back of their heads, and shoving their heads down to their crotches, and thinking its just hilarious,” said Savoia.
A spokesperson for the district says they’re just getting the accusations which they say they’re taking seriously.
The district has pulled video from one of the dates provided from one of the girls, but so far they don’t see any video of the incidents. Another incident may have happened months ago.
“It’s just saddening to me that my daughter’s friend, has not even mentioned it to her mom,” said Savoia. “And to know that my daughter has waited to come to me, just because of the humiliation.”
The district says they are following up with the students and their parents.
Read the district's full statement here:
"We were not made aware of the situation initially. Now that it’s been reported to us, the transportation department has pulled and reviewed video from a date provided by one of the families but we did not see any incidents on the bus as described. We are following up with the students and their parents to get more information. We absolutely take reports like these seriously. All students should feel safe and should report any incident that makes them feel uncomfortable or that could be illegal. If we don’t know about it, we cannot address it."