UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — A family in Prince George's County is demanding answers after a nine-year-old girl was caught on camera defending herself against a group of boys at her bus stop.
A camera mounted on Ailea Arrington's home captured disturbing video that sparked outrage last week when a family member posted the April 5 incident online.
The video shows Arrington, a fourth-grader at Barack Obama Elementary School, throwing and taking hits from a boy who also rides the bus.
She tells WUSA9 she was involved in a couple of altercations with one boy on the bus before it stopped at her bus stop, which is less than five minutes away.
"I had to defend myself," said Arrington.
The altercation that started on the bus ended on the sidewalk in front of her home, but it was not a one-on-one fight. Arrington said a few boys got off the bus to help their friend. Before she knew it, she was surrounded by a group of boys. Arrington said the bus driver got off and told everyone to stop, but they didn't.
"I'm just angry, I'm very angry," Bonnie Scott, Arrington's grandmother, said. "My baby could have hit her head on that concrete and couldn't get back up, then what?"
"It's not just about Ailea, it's about all kids," Scott said. "What do we do to protect the babies on the bus and when they get off the bus?"
Scott was home at the time, but was asleep after suffering from an injury the day before. She learned what happened after a parent close by helped Arrington get home. Now, Scott meets her at the bus stop every day and takes her to school.
"I checked her and she said they pulled her hair and her head was hurting a little bit, so I greased her scalp and just held her," Scott said.
She said Arrington cried for hours.
It's not clear what the initial fight was over on the school bus, but Scott has requested to see camera footage from beginning to end.
Scott had a meeting with the school principal lat week, but none of the parents or boys showed up. She was told the incident is under investigation.
A spokesperson for the Prince George's County Public School System told WUSA9 in a statement:
"We are extremely concerned about the events depicted in the video. While we cannot discuss individual student disciplinary measures, we will take appropriate action according to our student code of conduct once the investigation is complete. The principal has met with families of the students involved and will resolve the matter with the seriousness that it deserves. Every Prince George's County Public Schools student has a right to be safe while they are in our care."
This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.