PORTSMOUTH -- 'My dad came to open the door, so, then I started crying,' recalled Trevor Locke of his arrival at home Thursday afternoon. 'I calmed down and said that I got into, me and Zylid got into a fight with the bus driver.'
The fight, Locke told 13News, was physical and involved himself, the 65-year-old driver, and another student, Zylid Jones, whom the driver was trying to get to sit down.
It supposedly happened outside Hodges Manor Elementary at dismissal time.
'I was letting my friend in the seat, Trevor, so, then, when I was letting him in the seat, the bus driver came out there, put his finger in my face and yelling at me, and, then, he picked me up and slammed me. Then, I got up. He picked me up and slammed me again,' explained Jones.
'I pushed Mr. Peters. I said, 'Mr. Peters, stop!' Locke continued the story. 'He grabbed my hand, and, then, I yanked it out, and I pushed him again. Then he started choking me. Then, he had punched me in my face while I was still fighting him.'
The friends said Friday that other students on the bus opened their windows, shouting for help. Locke and Jones told 13News, by the time anyone responded, the driver had dragged them off the bus by their backpacks.
The person who responded was Assistant Principal Morris Barco. The 12-year-olds explained Barco took them inside to get their versions of what happened.
'He put them back on the bus with the exact same bus driver,' said Toya Locke, Trevor's mother. 'He said he didn't say anything to the bus driver, 'cause that was out of his jurisdiction. The transportation department handles that.'
Toya Locke met her husband at Hodges Manor Thursday afternoon. He took Trevor back after the 12-year-old showed up crying, the first indication anyone in the family had of what was supposed to have taken place.
'What is the purpose of us filling out the parental contact information, and no one calls us?' wondered the mother. 'You should have called, made an attempt to call the parents to let us be aware of the situation instead of putting him back on the same bus with the bus driver who already done punched him, and slammed him, and choked him.'
After the Lockes got home, Toya told 13News she went to seeJones' mother, Veleda Bynum, to tell her about the alleged incident.
'There's enough problems with kids fighting kids on the bus. I wouldn't think that my son would have to fight the bus driver,' Bynum stated. 'If you can't, you know, control the children in a better or proper way, I don't think he should be a bus driver.'
A source told 13News Jones has had issues on the bus before, leading to him being suspended from riding it. Locke has had no such trouble.
'When you're with someone, your friends, you protect each other. That's what he did. He didn't do anything wrong. The adult in this situation did,' offered Toya Locke. 'To me, he's not stable enough to work around children, that you want to put your hands on children. These aren't even your children, so if I had done that to Trevor, and Trevor went to school, Social Services would have came and locked me up.'
Portsmouth Public Schools said it did contact Child Protective Service to look into the matter as it conducts its own investigation. The school division told Toya Locke the driver has been put on leave.
13News stopped at his home Friday night. There were people inside, but neither he nor anyone else came to the door.
'I just think he shouldn't be allowed to work around children anymore, that's what I think,' Bynum told 13News.
'I don't want any monetary value,' said Toya Locke. 'I just want him fired. That's it.'