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‘There is more to this story’: Chaos breaks out as school bus driver refuses to let young passengers get off

A truly terrifying nightmare for any parent.

Image via FB Videos (Misty Grubbs)

There’s no feeling more unnerving for a parent than knowing something is wrong with your child and feeling or being rendered unable to provide assistance. Be it moments when they’ve got to tiptoe into the unknown (with you watching close by) to figure out a life lesson on their own or when a situation is entirely out of your hands, it sends parents into a fight or flight response.

So when a bus driver in Desoto County pulled over with a load of children on board, parents and loved ones were immediately thrown into a sense of instability because all they could hear were their children screaming and crying, and the bus driver was keeping them inside.

The video shared on TikTok comes from the Facebook account of a woman named Misty Grubbs, a parent of one of the children on the bus who received a call from her daughter letting her know that something wasn’t right.

“This woman has got my child locked on a bus and will not let them get off,” Misty’s video begins as she pans her camera around the bus with children looking panicked, screaming, crying, and in a state of disbelief.

As the children’s screams got louder, some of the other parents began knocking on the bus and trying to obtain any information at all from the bus driver. Despite their best efforts, she didn’t make a line of communication possible, leading to further panic and disarray.


bus driver refusing to let kids off the bus in DeSoto county, Mississippi!! #crazy #busdriver #desotocounty #fyp #fypシ #insane

♬ original sound – GetHerSomeMilk

Before we proceed, let’s clarify a few things: working with children can be a thankless job. Teachers, bus drivers, assistants, etc. — they see our children more than anyone in the world besides ourselves, and they don’t get enough credit. That being said, while their goal is to turn them from tiny humans into capable young people and successful adults, parents also entrust the safety of the people they love most.

Trust is the fundamental building block of every relationship we encounter, be it our closest loved ones to those we only know in passing and even down to something like the online orders we make and the decisions we move forward with on a day-to-day basis. We exist in a realm of trust that everything will be fine; we’re putting an inherent sense of trust into the universe that things will be okay.

The last thing any parents or children involved in this situation felt was trust. Without a clear response from the bus driver, we can assume she felt the same way — but no one can blame the parents for their reactions after hearing the screams of the children and seeing their tears and the fear in their eyes. While the video on TikTok highlights a portion of it, Grubbs’ video on Facebook is more in-depth and highlights the children walking to the camera in tears, some trying to rationalize what was going on while others tried to make it clear that they needed to get home.

As a parent of a child who is figuring out who they are, what life is, what boundaries are, and has many friends of all ages doing the same, this broke my heart to see. The fear in the eyes of the children was heartwrenching; it was hard to watch, and anyone who did probably wanted to reach out and hug them.

Besides the heavy emotional toll that anyone watching the video felt, another question was immediately posed — what about laws? What about regulations? The truth is, there is no clear-cut answer on whether or not a bus driver can keep children on a bus if they’ve arrived safely at their stop. Expert Law has a threat on the very question, but there are several responses that all point to one thing — it’s a district-by-district policy. The Desoto County School District has a website devoted to information about busses, safety, rules, and regulations — and a number provided welcomes questions and concerns about anything that has happened.

The website also contains a list of rules for the bus, some of which include being at the stop 5 minutes early, obeying the bus driver (in all caps), being nice and courteous, and not using electronic devices. That last one is important because it seems to be the catalyst for what began unfolding, and that is drawing in another set of mixed opinions.

There’s also an informational snippet shared regarding parent responsibilities, a few of which read as follows:

“Understand students may be disciplined for inappropriate behavior at or near a bus stop or on the bus, ensure your student understands the same DCS policies and procedures encourage them to comply, and support reasonable discipline efforts of the school administration.”

It goes without saying that discipline is necessary, and we have a feeling that all of the parents in the situation were well aware of that, but I’m not sure anyone could have watched that video and thought things were going well. The fear and upset of everyone involved, the tears in the eyes of the children, and the jumping from bus windows: control was most certainly lost at that point, but without a conversation, no one can make a judgment call on what to do next. No one could make sense of what happened in those chaotic moments.

In comments on the original video posted to Facebook, Grubbs says that her daughter explained the incident happened because a girl on board called her mom complaining that the driver was yelling at the children on the bus.

“My daughter calls crying, saying the bus driver said, ‘we can just sit here.’ Apparently, she was asking for the child’s phone and the little girl wasn’t giving up her phone so all I heard were kids crying and I didn’t know if they had been in a wreck or not so when I got to the scene, the woman wouldn’t even tell me what was wrong so then I lost it.”

Comments on Grubbs’ video ranged in everything from support of her anger and frustration to questioning if the police were called and sending tags to major news networks. This comment came from someone who experienced this as a child, leaving them with PTSD, which they still deal with to this day.

Some of the other comments spoke about the heat and how miserable the situation must have been for the children.

If you’re feeling an unnerving sense of Deja Vu, you’re not alone — another situation where a bus driver kept children on a bus happened just a couple of years ago in the Victor Central School District.

It’s impossible to understand the weight that those entrusted with our children’s lives feel during the day unless you’ve done it, and we are grateful that educators and those in the school realm exist — from custodians and bus drivers to teachers and family resource officers. They deserve a great deal of thanks. Those statements can’t be negated or understated, but the kids on that bus felt anything but cared for and protected in those moments, and that is a truth of its own, too.

About the author

Ashley Marie

Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she's not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she's drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.