NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Police Department confirmed Friday that detectives are now investigating a school bus driver who allegedly was caught on cell phone video striking a student on her bus.
Detectives with the Child Abuse Unit are looking into the case, an NOPD spokesman said.
The probe comes after swift action was taken earlier by Bricolage Academy, the Esplanade Avenue charter school that contracted with the bus company, Scholars First out of Gonzalez.
Bricolage founder and CEO Josh Densen said the school will be canceling the bus company’s contract effective next Friday when school lets out for the holidays.
Densen said Friday that the school is in the awkward position of having to keep the bus company for another week to give him time to contract with a new bus operator, but he did not mince words about how he feels about what he saw on the video.
"It is a reprehensible and disgusting act that happened and we're taking it incredibly seriously," Densen said.
According to Densen, the bus driver hit a child multiple times Wednesday afternoon. The child, the child's family and other students who witnessed the attack are now all being offered counseling services so they can begin to heal.
Scholars First, LLC, is a bus company that incorporated out of Gonzalez in 2015, according to the secretary of state’s office. Its website indicates that it provides transportation for schools from New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
The company said it has launched an internal investigation and that “corrective action has been taken.”
The company has a Facebook page which, in addition to seeking applications for new bus drivers, includes a handful of miscellaneous complaints. The complaints range from a driver with road rage to another blowing through a red light, but nothing that would warrant a criminal investigation.
WWL-TV reached out to Scholars First again on Friday and the company said the incident was “an ugly thing,” but that the owners, Jeramy Jackson and Melvin Williams “are responsible gentlemen” who consider the incident “an aberration.”