10-Year-Old Resists Peer-Pressure And Calls 911 On Bus Driver, Potentially Saving Classmates' Lives

Jan 20, 2022 by apost team

It isn’t always easy to act in the face of danger. In fact, while most people are familiar with the idea of a fight or flight response, there’s a lesser-known third response to frightening situations: freezing and failing to act.

“A genuinely overwhelming and paralysing freeze response is thought to occur when neither fight or flight is available to you. That is, you have been so overpowered, overwhelmed or trapped, there is no option to either flee or fight,” writes Rachael Sharman, a lecturer in psychology at the University of the Sunshine Coast. 

“Given our evolutionary history this probably occurred most often during hunting (the sabre-tooth tiger has the better of you and there’s just no way out). So we do what a number of animals will, we ‘play dead.’”

While inaction might have been effective against a saber-tooth tiger or a bear, playing dead or freezing might not be the best course of action if your life is truly in danger. Luckily, some brave individuals are able to overcome their fear, think clearly and act in life-threatening situations.

That’s exactly what 10-year-old Troy Luna of Stanislaus County did in December 2019. Rather than freezing in fear, this young man took action, which potentially saved his life — not to mention his fifth-grade peers. 

Luna called 911 after he “smelled something weird” on the school bus and noticed that the driver was swerving and skipping stop signs, according to GoodDay Sacramento.

“She stepped on the breaks really hard, and a few kids went flying and hit their heads on the seats,” Luna said of the bus driver.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video 

Luna told the local outlet that he realized something was wrong that Monday morning when he noticed a strange smell coming from the bus driver, Karolyn Denise Ray. When Ray started driving erratically, Luna said he went up to the driver and told her that kids were crying, coughing and having “anxiety attacks,” to which she replied, “Yeah, I’m a grandma. I know what I’m doing.”

But Ray, who police later learned was driving under the influence, didn’t stop speeding, and so Luna decided to call the police.

“All my friends were trying to talk me out of it. I said, ‘I don’t care, I don’t feel right,’ so I just did it,” he told GoodDay Sacramento.

GoodDay Sacramento reports that police intercepted the bus while Ray was dropping off a student. That’s when the police subjected Ray to a sobriety test, which she failed. The bus driver, 55, was later charged with driving under the influence of drugs and endangering the welfare of a child.

The Modesto Bee reports that the company that hired the bus driver sent a supervisor to finish the bus route. Parents were also notified and were able to pick up their kids.

The bus serves 40 to 50 students in the Diablo Grande community.

Randy Fillpot, the superintendent of the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District at the time, applauded the boy’s actions in an interview with the Modesto Bee.

“I think he is to be commended,” Fillpot said. “I congratulated him yesterday morning at school; he absolutely did the right thing. When you suspect the safety of your peers is in jeopardy you do the right thing and in that case it was call 911.”


Fillpot explained that Ray was a substitute driver who works for a private company that contracts with the school district. Fillpot added that he and his district were “evaluating” their relationship with the private contractor, First Student.

In the wake of Ray’s DUI, First Student released a statement, noting that they were conducting an internal investigation and working with authorities.

“Certainly, we understand and appreciate the concern this has caused. We, too, take this incident very seriously. First Student is partnering with local authorities for their investigation of the matter; we also are conducting our own internal review. Consistent with our standard process, the driver was immediately removed from service pending the outcome of the investigation. Given that this is an active investigation, we are unable to comment further.”

Apost.com readers commended Luna for his brave actions.

“Great job. I hope someone offers this young man some kind of recognition / reward for his very mature actions. Way to go Troy!” Pamela Lea commented.

“Smart boy! You did the right thing and are a great example for everyone!” Therese Coles Brookes added.

Viewers on YouTube echoed those comments.

“Peer pressure is so hard to resist and his peers were urging Troy  NOT  to call the police as they feared they would get into trouble. However Troy resisted their pressure and called 911. Thank goodness he did. WELL DONE TROY. I wish you all the best,” Elizabeth Keimach wrote.

Today, First Student, which has nearly 50,000 employees, continues to contract with 38 districts across the U.S. and Canada, according to the company’s website.

What do you think of this story? What would you have done when you were 10? Let us know — and be sure to pass this story on.

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