Mother Accused Of Attacking OKCPS Bus Driver

Monday, August 7th 2017, 10:22 pm
By: News 9

A fight broke out on an Oklahoma City school bus but students were not to blame.

A student's mother is the one accused of punching a school bus driver in May.

Oklahoma County prosecutors charged Tawjai Payne with assault on a school bus driver on Monday.

A probable cause affidavit indicated Payne climbed aboard the bus, slapped the driver, then grabbed the driver by the ponytail and punched her five times.

Payne is also accused of trying to drag the driver off the bus by her hair.

The bus driver claimed she circled back to the student's house after she began having problems with the student, according to the affidavit. 

The incident was captured by the camera system on the bus; however, Oklahoma City Public Schools did not release the video on Monday.

OKCPS spokeswoman Beth Harrison issued the following statement in response to News 9's inquiry: 

The Oklahoma City Public School District is fully cooperating with law enforcement as they continue to investigate an altercation that occurred between an OKCPS Bus Driver and a parent on May 19, 2017. At the time, police and district security responded immediately, and the parent was charged with multiple counts of Assault & Battery.  The employee was taken to a local medical facility, treated, released and sent home for the remainder of the day. As always, the safety and security of OKCPS students and staff is our top priority. Due to the ongoing law enforcement review in this case, we ask that all inquiries regarding the case be made to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Tawjai Payne told News 9 there's more to the story than what's listed in court records.

She shied away from an on-camera interview but claimed she'd been having problems with the driver harassing her children before the incident. 

Payne said she's tried reporting the issues to district leaders but it went unresolved.

The OKCPS spokeswoman said it cannot respond to those specific allegations due to the ongoing investigation.

Payne was arrested at the time of the incident and is currently out on bond.