LAKE WALES, Fla. – On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested 68-year-old Algarene Richards and 15-year-old Jayvyn McFadden, both from Lake Wales, following an altercation on a school bus.
On Wednesday, at around 3:30 p.m., a Polk County School bus was transporting students home from Frostproof Middle Senior High School. When the bus approached the intersection of Freedlander Road and Sally Street in unincorporated Lake Wales, Richards, a former substitute school bus attendant, and McFadden, a student, became engaged in a verbal argument that escalated. Both Richards and McFadden “battered each other,” deputies say.
“Students have no right to become physically violent with a school board employee. Similarly, adults who are in a position of authority cannot use excessive physical violence against a student,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “In this case, the facts demonstrated that both involved should be criminally charged.”
“Every day, Polk County Public Schools is entrusted with safely transporting tens of thousands of students to and from school,” said Deputy Superintendent John Hill. “Like we do at our campuses, we strive to create school bus environments in which students feel supported, encouraged and, most important of all, safe. We hold ourselves, our employees and our students to the highest of standards of behavior and respect for one another. Violence of any kind will not be tolerated. We thank the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for their swift and thorough response to this incident.”
McFadden was charged with Battery on a School Official). He was transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
Richards was charged with Child Abuse. She has a criminal history that includes 3 batteries, 3 aggravated assaults with a weapon, a dangerous discharge of a weapon, resisting a law enforcement officer, and shoplifting.
According to Polk County Public Schools, Richards was a substitute bus attendant who was hired Sept. 13, 2019. The district terminated her employment effective Jan. 6, 2021.