The Jordan High School student charged in a bus fight told the court that two of the girls involved in the fight bullied her before the physical altercation.
Represented by public defender Charles Lykins, Artavia Bush,18, pleaded not guilty to two counts of simple assault and one count of disrupting a public school. She was originally charged with one count of making terroristic threats, but Columbus Police Officer James Root replaced the charge with two counts of simple assault.
Judge Mary Buckner issued Bush bond totaling $2,000, and the teen was released on her own recognizance. Bush has also been banned from the bus, but it was not a court-ordered ban.
The case was bound over to State Court.
Bush told the court that the two juveniles threatened her and her friend about wanting the front bus seats they were sitting in, and she told them that she didn't want any problems. She said that when both began to curse at her, she got upset and approached them.
"Every time I get this bus, somebody is picking on me," Bush said as she began to cry.
Root testified that Bush got into an argument with two juveniles while riding on the school bus headed to school Friday, April 10. Eventually a physical altercation ensued between the three students and an additional juvenile sitting next to Bush joined the fight.
As a result, the bus driver had to stop the bus at Veterans Parkway and Sixth Street that morning. The police were called, and another bus arrived to pick up the other kids and take them to school.
Bush was taken into police custody April 10 at 8:15 a.m.
Root confirmed Bush's statement that the fight was about seating arrangements on the school bus.
One of Bush's family members also testified that Bush was bullied by the two juveniles Bush approached on the bus. She said the young girls created Facebook posts before and after the fight that mention the seating situation.
"I've talked to the principal of the school," the relative said. "Before we could really get it together, it all exploded the next day on the bus."
Buckner said she hopes the issue is resolved.
"I hope you all work that out at the school, so this doesn't happen again," Buckner said.