Driver charged after allegedly kicking student off school bus - | WBTV Charlotte

Driver charged after allegedly kicking student off school bus

Maria Victoria Sanchez (Source: Iredell County Sheriff's Office) Maria Victoria Sanchez (Source: Iredell County Sheriff's Office)
STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) -

A Statesville bus driver has been charged with child abuse after she reportedly forced a student off the bus for misbehaving, leaving the child alone on the side of the road.

According to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, Maria Victoria Sanchez, who is a teacher's assistant and bus driver with Iredell-Statesville Schools is facing a misdemeanor child abuse charge.

Deputies say 12-year-old, who was riding the bus to East Iredell Middle School, knocked on the door of a home in the Bell Farm Road area. 

"I’m pretty shocked," said Cindy Upright. "It’s not every day you get a strange child knocking on your door saying that the bus driver hired by the county has dropped him off."

Upright said the child asked her to call his mother to pick him up. She said she did, but while they were waiting, the bus driver returned to the area. 

"I stepped out in the road so she would stop and I stopped her," Upright told WBTV. "And I said, did you drop him off? And she said 'yes'. I said 'why did you drop him off in a strange neighborhood? This is not my child.' And she said she did it because of his bad behavior and proceeded to get off the bus, come up in my driveway – proceeding arguing with me, arguing with the child and I told her 'this is inappropriate. You’re not arguing with a child. He’s 12'."

Upright said she told the bus driver "You could have dropped him anywhere – anything could have happened. At the end of the day, you’re an adult - he’s a child."

She said she called the sheriff’s office.

According to Upright, the bus driver tried to get the child to return to the bus.

"She’s telling the boy to get on the bus. His mom [on the phone] is telling my husband – no – he cannot get on that bus. I’m telling the boy not to get on the bus because I just didn’t feel comfortable with him getting on the bus with her after what had happened" Upright said.

Investigators say when deputies arrived, the bus driver had left. A school resource officer at East Iredell Middle School caught up with the driver at the school.

School district officials say Sanchez was suspended immediately after the incident.

Upright said the child's mother and aunt came to the house.

Upright doesn't know what exactly happened on the bus that made the driver let the 12-year-old off the bus.

"He was polite to us. He was a sweet kid. He never gave us any problems when he was here," Upright said. "She said he was always causing problems but at the end of the day, you’re an adult. He’s 12. That’s your job – it’s to deal with him."

Investigators say deputies went to Sanchez' house and picked her up on a warrant.

They say they charged Sanchez with misdemeanor child abuse because she let the child off the bus at an undesignated stop, then drove off and left the area.

Wednesday afternoon, Sanchez posted bond and was released from the Iredell County Detention Center. She has a May 1st court date.?

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