Monday, December 7 a 13-year-old girl jumped off a moving school bus after a fight with another classmate. The bus was traveling south on the Gulf Freeway in Galveston, Texas when the girl hit the emergency exit button on the rear door and purposely jumped out onto the highway.
The students on the bus were traveling from an alternative school in Texas City. According to the bus driver, two female students were fighting on the bus. The driver pulled over, separated the two students placing one near the front of the bus and the other girl in the back. Shortly after the driver resumed driving on the highway, the girl in the back opened the emergency exit and jumped out while the other students watched.
The unconscious girl was taken to UTMB in critical condition. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her severe injuries Wednesday afternoon.
From a statement released by The Galveston Independent School District on Thursday:
“We are extremely disheartened by the passing of one of our students, and we extend our thoughts and condolences to her family, friends, and teachers during this incredibly difficult period.”
The district has deployed additional grief counselors to assist throughout their campuses.
We echo the sentiments of the school district. It is heartbreaking to read of the death of another of our students. You might remember a different school bus incident in Harris County, Texas in September when 2 children were killed in a deadly school bus accident.
While these 2 cases are different, there is a similarity in that it is possible that the deaths might have been preventable. In the September crash, it has been proposed that if the students had been wearing safety belts, they may have survived. Of course in the latest incident, the young girl died by opening the door on purpose and throwing herself into harms way. However, what might have happened if there had been another adult on the bus to assist the school bus driver? Would adding a bus monitor have saved this young life? Would the additional authority figure have been able to diffuse the students altercation thereby avoiding a tragic outcome?