Light Wave

U.S. News

School Bus Monitor On Her Phone While 6-Year-Old Suffocated To Death

By Belal Awad · July 24, 2023

In brief…

  • A New Jersey school bus monitor has been charged with manslaughter and child endangerment after a tragic incident involving six-year-old Fajr Williams.
  • Fajr, who had a rare chromosome disorder, was strangled by her wheel chair harness while the monitor was allegedly talking on her cell phone.
  • Fajr was found unresponsive upon arrival at school and later pronounced dead.
  • Fajr's mother, Najma Nash, has vowed to advocate for change in school transportation programs, while demanding justice for her daughter.
6-year-old Fajr Williams who died in the back of a school bus on July 17.  Williams' Family/Facebook

A tragic incident in New Jersey has led to a school bus monitor being charged with manslaughter and child endangerment. Amanda Davila is accused of talking on her cell phone while on duty and failing to notice six-year-old Fajr Williams, who was strangled by her wheel chair harness. Fajr, who suffered from a rare chromosome disorder called Emmanuel syndrome, was found unresponsive upon arrival at Claremont Elementary School on July 17. She was later pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital. The Somerset County Prosecutor’s office said the bumpy bus ride caused Fajr’s wheelchair harness to tighten, restricting her ability to breathe.

Najma Nash, Fajr’s mother discussed her daughter and the urgent need for change in school transportation programs in an interview on FOX News. She described Fajr as a sweet and gentle child, who faced numerous health challenges. Najma insisted her daughter “is not going to be forgotten. And I’m also going to make sure her name isn’t forgotten.”

On the charges filed against school bus monitor Amanda Davila, Najma said, “What I wanted was justice. I wanted to see justice… I do know that she was charged with the most severe charge that she could be, given the evidence. And that’s what I’m asking for.”

Nash intends to be a passionate advocate for young children, especially those with disabilities, saying, “I’m trying to make sure that… Fajr’s voice is heard through me and, not just about Fajr, but for other disabled children that go through this, especially with Emmanuel syndrome.” Najma has demanded a thorough review of the policies governing school transportation, stressing that parents deserve to feel safe when entrusting their children to bus companies.

She said parents must be vigilant when it comes to the welfare of their children: “We need to double check, triple check, ask questions, make sure that we’re in constant communication with not just the transportation company, but also the people that are on the bus, the driver as well as the aide.”