Police said the school bus driver, Josephine Wilkes, pulled up to a stop sign, stopped, but then failed to yield to oncoming traffic. She then crashed into a sport utility vehicle hauling a boat, police said.
The wreck occurred on Highway 27 at Highway 100 around 4 p.m., Heard County police Lt. Dena Thifault said.
"Once I arrived there was a school bus, there was numerous kids on the side of the road. Of course they were scared, frightened, upset," Heard County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jane Olinger told Channel 2's Erica Byfield.
Three children injured in the crash were airlifted to area hospitals, Thifault said.
Three students from Franklin were airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center. The Georgia State Patrol identified them as 18-year-old Shawn Thrasher, 18-year-old Katie Norton and 15-year-old Josh Spivey.
Emergency crews also drove 11-year-old Akenah Bonner to Piedmont Newnan Hospital for treatment.
The rest of the children and the SUV driver were fine, Battalion Chief Scott Parrott said.