Cops: Polk County school bus driver Patrice Sanders brings kids to home, stages fight between 2 students

10:46 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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Polk County, Florida -- A Polk County school bus driver has been arrested for allegedly forcing two students to fight outside her home Thursday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says 29-year-old Patrice Sanders of Lakeland drove a busload of middle and high school students to her house and staged a fight between two of them in her front yard.

According to her arrest affidavit, Sanders picked up kids from three schools: Gause Academy, Summerlin Academy and Bartow High School.  As she was taking them home, she heard two girls -- one 13 and the other 16 -- arguing and said, "This is going to be handled today and they just need to fight."

She then drove about 20 miles to her home and ordered all the kids off the bus. The 13-year-old said she did not want to fight, but Sanders allegedly went in the house to look for Vaseline so their faces wouldn't get scratched.

After Sanders couldn't find any Vaseline or baby oil, the two students fought as at least one other student recorded it on a cell phone. Sanders can be seen on the video not trying to stop the fight, but standing by and watching.

WATCH: Cell phone video of the fight

In a press conference Friday, Sheriff Judd had this message for Sanders: "Come on, girl! What were you thinking?!"

After the kids reportedly fought until exhaustion, Judd says Sanders ordered the kids back on the bus and told them, "What happens on the bus stays on the bus," and then dropped them off at their bus stops.

That night, the 13-year-old's mother contacted deputies and took her daughter to the hospital to be checked out. The girl did not have any serious injuries.

Sanders has been charged with child abuse, child neglect, false imprisonment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. More charges are pending.

Sanders, who worked as a bus driver for about eight months, has been suspended without pay with a recommendation for immediate termination by the Polk County School Board on Friday.

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