On the bus, Eichele's stepson Josh had been taunted, punched and had hand sanitizer rubbed in his eyes. In addition to warning the students, Eichele berated
the bus driver for allowing the incidents to occur.
He says he has gone through Hartnett County Schools' proper channels, but has been frustrated by a lack of communication and a failure to stop the incidents. Eichele said no one at the school informed him of any action taken to stop the bullying, but simply told him, "We'll take care of it."
For the time being, Josh's bullies seem to be leaving him alone. “We’ve had no problems since I stepped on that bus," Eichele said.
The Stream spoke to the North Carolina father about what he would like to see going forward. He said he hopes this incident will prompt other parents in his school district to speak out about their children's experiences with bullying.
"The school district has lawyers and professionals, to them one person is a gnat," Eichele said, "but enough gnats can annoy a giant."
He added that he would like to see more training and accountability for school bus drivers. "The very first word is 'safe' in [the bus company's] mission statement," Eichele pointed out.
As for the charges against him, Eichele says he has no regrets about his actions. "I teach my son that you're held responsible for the things you do. If I'm found guilty, so be it."
Eichele also said that he would rather be the one facing consequences for taking Josh's bullies to task than his son, noting that his stepson would have faced disciplinary action had he encouraged him to fight back. "He doesn't need that label," Eichele said.
Since the incident, many online have expressed support for Eichele's actions:
Dont blame the dad one bit. He tried to go thru proper channels. I will do anything to protect my child.Marino Radke
I don't blame this man one bit! If the school system wouldn't stand up for his step-son and put an end to it then he was justified!!!Valerie Stroop Deacon
He did violate the law... so he should have been arrested. Along with the bus driver for allowing the kid to be assaulted, and the principle and staff of the school for allowing it to continue.... along with the resource officer for not doing his job.... and the Sheriff kicked out of office for not following up and making sure the kid had a safe environment. Too many wrongs here, for 1 man to get charged. He done what any father would have done.Troy Smart
The school administration keeps sweeping this under the rug as if it will go away by itself! I support the Dad taking the upper hand and confronting the bullies. Bullying needs to be stopped!Gina Regina Epley