Huntingburg school bus driver reinstated - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Huntingburg school bus driver reinstated

Posted: Updated:

No charges were filed against a Huntingburg school bus driver after an investigation showed the driver was caught putting his hands on a student.

The mother of another student told 14 News she's grateful for what the driver did.

Don Astrike disciplined two Southridge Middle School students on his bus.

On Friday, Astrike sat down with 14 News Reporter Nick LaGrange and explained what he believes happened that day.

"You shouldn't get physical with the children and stuff," said Astrike. "But sometimes, you need to do something to get their attention."

He says two boys on the bus were picking on a young girl sitting in the seat in front of them. He says he saw the student in distress and intervened like he's done throughout the 43 years he's been driving for the school system. 

"I never assaulted the children," said Astrike. "I never grabbed him, I just a hold of his shirt and said, 'Hey, this has to stop or you're going to be looking for a ride to school,'" said Astrike.

From the bus' video unreleased surveillance, Astrike appeared to have placed his hand on the other boy's head.

"As far as the other child, even viewing the video, I can't. I don't know if I touched his head or whatever," said Astrike. "There was absolutely no assault intended or that took place."

Following investigations by both police and the school system, the parents of the students involved have declined to press charges.

The same goes for the county prosecutor.

Krisna Drew is the mother of the young girl who Astrik says was being picked on by the two boys. She says she is very pleased that Astrike won't be charged and that he's back on the road.

"It wasn't in any kind of violent way or him just being downright mean to the kids," said Krisna. "It was him trying to discipline two kids that were being unruly."

Astrike is back in the driver's seat as of Friday morning.

He says he doesn't know how much longer he will continue driving the school bus. It is likely he will retire after next school year.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow