• 14-year-old facing felony charges after school bus altercation

    By: Michael Yoshida


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Action News has exclusively gotten a copy of a video showing a local 14-year-old girl being grabbed and forced off of the school bus she was on.

    Nukya Thomas, a student at Mandarin Middle School, said she was kicked off the bus.

    The video shows a school officer grabbing and yelling at Nukya. This incident happened after the bus driver said Nukya wasn’t supposed to be on the bus. But her mother disagrees.

    “I'm the one who told her to stay on the bus because that is her assigned bus,” said Latoya Black, Nukya’s mother.

    Action News showed the video to Duval County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

    “There’s level of defiance that the student is returning. The question is did the officer go too far to bring this student's behavior down,” Vitti said.

    Nukya’s mother said the answer is clear and her daughter did nothing wrong. 

    “No one child should get deserved to get treated like that or talked to like that for no reason. For no reason,” Latoya Black said.

    Duval County Schools is currently investigating the event and Nukya is now taking a different school bus until the end of the year.

    Nukya could be facing a felony for what happened on the bus.

    DCPS said that in situations like this where there is confusion about whether a student should be on a bus, the expected process is for the bus driver, student and school to find the answer. 

    Nukya is being charged with trespassing and resisting arrest with violence…that's a felony in Florida.

    “Third degree felony with up to 5 years in prison. That's crazy,” said Latoya Black.

    Nukya's mother says her daughter was supposed to be on the school bus and she did nothing wrong.

    Action News Law & Safety Expert Dale Carson said “in an encounter like this where she is saying no, no, no…that is technically resisting arrest.”

    But Carson says there are other techniques that the officer could have used. The other techniques Carson showed Action News were “not as aggressive as grabbing someone by the lapels and shaking them,” he said.

    Nukya is now facing felony charges, something that her mother and Carson say can impact her for life.

    “Those are horrible charges. When that young lady tries to get a job, a year from now, five years from now, there's going to demonstrate an arrest for that violent activity,” Carson said.

    ‘That can mess her cause she's a very smart young lady,” Latoya Black said.

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