Teen in Bus Fight Speaks Out

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Sheriff's investigators haven't decided whether anybody involved in a fight on a bus bound for Gibbs High School Thursday morning should face charges. With so many stories floating around the only clear thing is that it is going to be tough to sort out exactly who did what.

On Saturday evening WVLT TV's Gordon Boyd talked to one of the students involved in the fight, Marcus Carmichael, 16, from East Knoxville. When talking to Marcus you can barely see Thursdays black eye and scar he got from hitting his head on the school bus's window. What cuts deeper than the scar are the rumors circulating about what exactly caused the fight.

On Friday the bus driver told WVLT that the fight started when Marcus confronted a white girl for saying the word donut, a word used in sleet slang as a slur against a street gang.

"Ain't nothing gang-related about me," Marcus said. "She called me a B," he replied referring to a word that rhymes with rich. "All this gang-related stuff, they can go ahead and keep that out their mouth."

The driver said he got nose-to-nose with the girl, so close that his lips were on her face. Marcus offered a different account of events saying, "The bus driver came to the middle, she caught herself trying to break it up, dude swung over, I swung back so we got to fighting."

Two white boys, both brothers were involved in the altercation with Marcus. One of the brothers ended up spending Thursday night in juvenile custody.

"A bum rap for what I consider a man should stand up and do," the driver said, "in fact that was what the argument was about, you do not hit a girl on our bus."

"The fact of the matter is she put her hands on me first, she pushed me," the 16 year-old said. "If she is going to be man enough to throw a lick, she should be man enough to take one."

The girl involved told WVLT that she couldn't recall who pushed whom first.

Investigators for the Sheriff's department said Friday that they no longer consider the fight to be racially motivated. Marcus on the other hand thinks nothing could be further from the truth.

"Shoot, dude called me a [n-----] two weeks ago," he said. The teenager he accuses of the slur has declined to comment.

Sheriff's department investigators first said they would charge the two white students involved in the fight with assaulting Marcus.
The Knox County school district is conducting its own investigation to determine whether to suspend or even expel any of the students involved.

Marcus's Grandmother said he will be back in school Monday morning, but the teen disagreed.

"I ain't going back till they decide what they gonna do," he said.