CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Charlotte mom said her sons have been repeatedly beaten up on the school bus but claimed she was told nothing could be done because the principal was out of town for a week.

Patricia Orta says her sons, 10-year-old Loius and 6-year-old George, have been tormented and beaten repeatedly on a Pinewood Elementary school bus.

“Marks on their faces, on their chest, stomach,” she described. “The scratches he has on his chest and his neck, the bloody nose, and the bruise were all [from] this week”

The boys say the attacks have been unprovoked, and that the bus driver has never intervened.

“[He] punched me in the gut,” Loius recalled of the bullies’ torment. “Spit in [George’s] face. Started hitting me and punching me in the chest, and scratched right here with his nails.”

Patricia says when she reported the bullying to the school, she was repeatedly told nothing could be done because the principal is out of town.

“According to the school the principal's been out for a whole week,” she said. “And I'm just supposed to wait?”

In a video Patricia recorded of her interaction with front office staff, you can hear a woman say the principal will return Monday.

“What am I supposed to do until then?” Patricia is heard saying. “It’s every day that they're getting hit.”
In the video, a pause, before a woman responds “I don't know what to tell you.”

A CMS spokesperson says “school leadership is always in place to handle any situation if a principal is not on the premises. If an issue arises that requires higher authority that would require the principal's involvement, the assistant principal may await the principal's return.”

Meanwhile, Patricia has decided to keep her boys home, until something is done.

“That’s a school, you're supposed to protect my kids on the bus, at the school, anywhere and you’re not,” she said.

After we contacted CMS, Patricia says she got an email from the Pinewood principal who set up a meeting with her for Monday. NBC Charlotte will continue to monitor any new developments.