Caught on camera: Bus driver slaps student over mask dispute in Colo.
FREMONT CO., Colo (KKTV) - A Colorado school bus driver is facing charges for slapping a child in the face.
WARNING: Video may be disturbing to viewers.
The incident started over an argument about face masks and was caught on camera. The bus driver was charged with misdemeanors including harassment, assault causing injury and child abuse.
A 10-year-old student at Fremont Elementary School says her bus driver hit her because she took her mask down below her nose.
The video from about a month ago shows the bus driver pushes the mask up on the girl’s face. Then the two have a back and forth and the bus driver apparently hits her in the face.
Records show the school district took immediate action by placing the bus driver on paid administrative leave. Following their investigation, they were working to terminate him.
According to the documents, the bus driver resigned before the district could fire him.
Documents stated the girl told her school that she gets sick from wearing masks so she “put her mask down.”
The bus driver, in his own words on an incident report, said he went to the back of the bus where the two girls were arguing about not wearing a mask.
He said he tried to explain and she “just wouldn’t listen, yelling at me and the two girls.”
He went on to say that “out of reaction, I slapped her once.”
According to the termination letter the school district gave the bus driver, the superintendent noted this is the second time the bus driver had physically touched a student out of anger.
The first incident was in August where he grabbed a student by the arm after an argument about wearing a facial covering.
The district said he was given a verbal warning then.
The school district said in a statement, in part, “We believe it is never OK to lay a hand on a child. The driver’s action justified termination of employment, as it goes against district policy and our values.
“We are very saddened by this incident.”
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