COBB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) – A Cobb County judge ordered a school district bus driver to turn himself in at the Cobb County Jail Monday, officially charging him with simple assault and simple battery against a 10-year-old boy during a discipline incident.

Judge Sonja Brown’s ruling means she believes there’s enough evidence to send Richard Tebbens’ case to trial for the November 2019 incident.

The district attorney’s office originally declined to prosecute the case, saying Georgia law protects bus drivers and other school employees from criminal liability for acts regarding discipline when they have acted in good faith.

Mawuli Davis, the attorney for the boy’s family, said Judge Brown’s ruling indicates that prosecutors should have considered that the physical contact was of an insulting and provoking nature, a violation of Georgia law.

“This is a 10-year-old child that’s grabbed up by his shirt by a grown bus driver and then has his head grabbed and turned by that same bus driver,” Davis said.

The boy’s father Justan Mosley said his son is going through counseling because of the incident.

“He’s doing better,” said Mosley. “We’re still going through some sequences to help him cope. The main thing is just confidence around his peers. This happened on a bus full of children.”

The case gained traction when attorney Davis took the case to the court system himself. Davis said he believes race played a factor in this case. The bus driver is White. The boy is Black.

“If the races were reversed – if a black school bus driver laid hands on a little white child – that that black school bus driver would have been arrested the very next day without question and terminated.”

Instead, Davis said, the district stood behind the bus driver – even paying for his attorney.

“Considering the fact that the county put taxpayer money – my taxpayer money – behind representation for the driver, it’s really egregious and it’s very disheartening,” said the boy’s father.

Both Tebbens and his attorney Laurence Worco declined to share their side of the story on camera.

CBS46 reached out to the Cobb County School District for a response, but did not get an immediate response.

We reached out to the Cobb County School District about this case. They tell us they cannot comment on ongoing legal matters.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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