A 12-year-old girl was arrested on Christmas Eve after a fight on a York school bus earlier this month left another 12-year-old girl with a head injury and swollen eye, according to a York Police report.
The girl is charged with third-degree assault and battery and interfering with the operation of a school bus, according to police.
Police reviewed video footage of the Dec. 13 incident in which the victim, a York Middle School student, was hit in the head repeatedly and dragged by her hair along the aisle of the bus by another student. The bus was transporting students home from school at the time.
According to the report, both girls were talking about the victim’s boots when the suspect suddenly pulled the victim’s hair and began to punch her. After the victim fell on the floor, the suspect continued to hit the girl in the face and head, the report states.
The fighting eventually stopped after the suspect’s sister told her to quit hitting the victim. The sisters then went to the back of the bus, according to the report.
The suspect’s sister also has been charged with interference with the operation of a school bus and will be punished by school administrators, police say.
The victim was taken to Steele Creek Health Pavilion in Charlotte after she got home and told her parents about the incident.
“It was the worst thing I’ve ever watched,” the victim’s mother, Nicole Seaford, told The Herald on Thursday. “It doesn’t matter if it was my kid or another kid.”
The children involved in the York school bus fight were not named in the police report because of their age.
Seaford said she and her husband reviewed the video footage with school administrators after the event. “I want procedures and policies put in place so that this doesn’t happen to another kid,” she added.
Seaford said that her daughter previously told her of troubles on the school bus earlier in the month. She said her daughter is a “tough girl,” but recently asked to take self-defense lessons. Since the incident, Seaford has personally driven her daughter to and from school.
Police believe several students on the bus had their phones out and were recording or taking photos of the fight.
The incident was later reported to the York County Sheriff’s Office, York Middle School Principal Howard Snelling, and the school’s resource officer, Cpl. Michael Hawkins.
Photos were taken of the victim’s injuries, which included several bruises, swollen eye and a small cut.
After an investigation, the sisters turned themselves in to police Tuesday and were later released to their father.
York school district officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The Herald’s Jonathan McFadden contributed.