GALESBURG, Mich. – Heidi Mullin was caught on tape pushing a seven-year-old student against a school bus window on October 10th. More than a month after the incident, the former bus supervisor is speaking out hoping to clear her name.
Mullin said she was put on the Galesburg-Augusta elementary school bus because there was a discipline problem with some of the students. Now, she said, she’s been unfairly fired and wants people to understand what she went through that day.
Mullin said she recorded 27 minutes of the school bus ride to show the school board just how bad it can get on any given day.
On October 10th she said her hands were full trying to control a seven-year-old student.
“He wouldn’t sit down, he wouldn’t put the window down, wouldn’t do anything I asked him to,” said Mullin. “He threw his back-pack at me, came up and hit me.”
Mullin said she tried to get the student taken the bus before the situation escalated.
“I was told under no circumstances was I to remove the child from the bus,” she said.
Mullin said she sat next to the second grader to calm him down, when he attacked her.
“He grabbed the arms of his coat, jumped on top of my head with his coat and put his arms under my throat and wrapped his arms around my head. All I did was reach up and try to push him off of me,” she said.
A camera phone in the back of the bus shows another angle of the incident.
“It was like fight or flight response. I’m not a child abuser, just protecting myself and protecting every other child on that bus as well,” said Mullin.
The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor cleared Mullin of any criminal wrong-doing, agreeing that she was acting in self-defense. Despite that fact, Mullin said she was still fired by the bus company.
She hoping by sharing her story she will some day get a job back on a school bus.
“I have 22 years of driving, 15 in the schools and as it stands right now, I don’t think I will ever work in the schools again unless I put my story out there,” said Mullin.
Mullin said things got so bad on the bus that day, she tried to call 911 but the call, she said, never went through.