Alyce Black, 78, of Gainesville, said she would set her watch to make sure her dog, Petey, was not in the street when the Hall County school bus ran its normal route on Parker Trail.
But the school was on a two-hour delay, Dec. 11, and the 10-pound dog was reportedly “accidentally struck and killed” by a bus driver, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
“The school bus hit him, and it threw him up on the curb,” said Kadee Shermer, Black’s daughter.
Lt. Scott Ware said that later the same day, about 4:20 p.m. in the 2700 block of Northlake Road, the school bus was blocked by Shermer’s and Black’s vehicles, but Shermer said the driver had pulled up near her vehicle.
Shermer said she pulled over because another dog was potentially in danger, and other drivers were able to pass on the road.
“I asked him, ‘Why did you murder our dog and not even stop to tell us?” Shermer asked.
The driver radioed the bus shop, which in turn requested law enforcement, and a deputy responded to the scene.
After the deputy’s investigation, warrants were issued charging Shermer and Black with disorderly conduct and disruption/interference with the operation of a public school bus. The two went voluntarily to the Hall County Jail on a later date and posted bond.
But Black and Shermer, 58, dispute the Sheriff’s Office’s allegation of “yelling, cursing and banging on the bus.”
“I wouldn’t have ever banged on anything because I have arthritis in my hands and I have long beautiful nails,” Shermer said.
Black called the information released by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office a “lie.”
“You will never find anybody in the state of Georgia who will ever say to you that I have cursed at a person. My vocabulary is large enough. I don’t need to do that,” Black said.
Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins wrote in an email: “When I shared the Sheriff’s Office media release on the series of events that led to the arrest with Clay Hobbs, our director of transportation, he reported that the details were consistent with what had been reported to him.”
Black and Shermer claimed others have complained about the bus driver’s performance, but Higgins said there were no complaints in the driver’s file.
Shermer said she and Black were planning to retain an attorney.
Nine students onboard the bus at the time of the incident were dropped off at their homes roughly 30-40 minutes later than normal, Ware said. No one was injured during the incident.