An Illinois school bus aide was filmed slapping a 6-year-old autistic girl in the face. The incident has left the family heartbroken and the little girl traumatized.
The shocking incident happened on a school bus in New Lenox, Illinois. According to the surveillance footage, the girl, Kaylee, screamed as the bus aide struck her face twice.
Nicholas Rushing, Kaylees’s father, said the footage of the slapping incident “broke his heart.” He also added that his daughter is nonverbal. While explaining the incident he said that the woman kept touching her throughout the bus ride, denying her personal space. As the little girl was unable to deal with the situation, she spat on the woman who then reacted by slapping Kaylee twice.
Rushing further added that although Kaylee didn’t receive any physical injuries, the incident has affected how she responds to strangers. The bus aide didn’t appear to have been trained to follow protocols around Kaylee as she had only been with the company for two weeks.
“She is an awesome kid and she is super sweet and for this to happen as a dad it almost feels like I failed her ... I don't think I have ever been more mad in my life. It kind of changed her personality on things. She doesn't want anything to do with people she doesn't know," he said.
Madeline Norley, Kaylee’s mother said, “It just makes me want to cry to be honest with you. As a mom, just seeing that, it's disgusting.”
According to the school district the aide involved was not a district employee, and worked for the bus contractor, Lincoln-Way Special Education District.
Sarah Rexroad, the bus operator's executive director said, "I cannot provide a specific comment at this time. There is an ongoing investigation regarding an incident that allegedly occurred on a school bus. Student safety is a No. 1 priority for the cooperative.”
Kayle's parents further added they just want bus aides to be trained to handle situations with children like her so that a similar incident doesn’t occur in future.
“When she's having that meltdown, she needs that space and be able to mellow it out herself. And she does it. I'm worried as a dad it may not be the first time this happened. My main goal is to make sure this never happens to any other people,” said Rushing.
An investigation into the incident has been launched by New Lenox police. No charges have been filed.
@KMOV She needs to lose her job for it.— Monique Keener (@MoniqueKeener) May 7, 2017