Nightly News | September 21, 2010
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: We go now to Florida and another kind of uprising. This one motivated by anger. A story tonight about a father's angry reaction to kids bullying his daughter who has a disability. What happened next is causing a big reaction across the country. Our own Kerry Sanders has more.
KERRY SANDERS reporting: On a school bus in suburban Orlando , a father's fury caught on a security camera .
Mr. JAMES WILLIE JONES: My daughter get on
this......damn bus and......and now this is just it.
SANDERS: Forty-two -year-old James Willie Jones , who was arrested for disorderly conduct, admits his temper got the better of him. Today...
Mr. JONES: I handled it the wrong way when I went on the bus.
SANDERS: ... Jones explained why he went so far as to threaten to kill students on the bus. He says they were bullying his 13-year-old daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Mr. JONES: It's not about me. It's about kids that are getting bullied going to school, even if you're walking to school. My action was very much out of line -- out of character for me. But my daughter, I still love her and I support her.
SANDERS: While school officials say Jones never complained to them that his daughter was being harassed, in the deputy's report Jones alleges school boys on the bus smacked her on the back of the head; twisted her ear; shouted rude comments at her, and as this security camera footage from the day before reveals, tossed an open condom. The National Center for Education Statistics reports a quarter of all students say that they're bullied on a weekly or daily basis. But for disabled children it's far worse, 85 percent say they've been targeted.
Ms. JULIE HERTZOG (National Center For Bullying Prevention Director): Kids with disabilities are oftentimes targeted by bullying because of their vulnerable reaction to the behavior. Whether it's getting mad or getting scared or getting angry, they're providing a response that makes the feel -- the person bullying feel in power and in control.
SANDERS: The National Center for Bullying Prevention , pacer.org, estimates 160,000 students stay home from school every day fearing they'll be bullied. Now, add James Jones ' daughter to the list. She's in a hospital because of what her father calls debilitating anxiety,