A Douglas County school bus driver is facing 30 counts of child abuse for deliberately slamming on the bus brakes to “teach the kids a lesson,” reported KRDO News.
Brian Fitzgerald, 61, was transporting at least 30 Castle Rock Elementary students back home from school on March 1, when the incident occurred. A video from inside the bus obtained by 13 Investigates shows the students hitting the seats in front of them face-first. In the video, children are heard complaining about getting hurt and the driver telling students to get in their seats.
According to the article, the students on board ranged in age from kindergarten to sixth grade and were confused and startled by the brake check. This resulted in one of the students calling her parents and reporting the incident.
The article reported that a student told her parents that the bus driver someone got hurt and was bleeding, but he did not care.
The driver reportedly spoke to the adult that picked up the student and explained that his reason for slamming the brakes was because students were running all over the place. However, some students sitting in the back of the bus began to disagree with his explanation.
Other students also told their parents about the incident and some of them were scared and crying.
Parents reportedly called the Douglas County School District Transportation Department immediately after learning about the incident and asked them to pull the bus video.
Fitzgerald told the district’s officials via the article that he was sorry for his actions and claimed that he was trying to educate and control the student riding the bus.
Fitzgerald was reportedly hired as a special education bus driver for the district last October and it was his first time driving a general education bus.
A misdemeanor complaint was filed against Fitzgerald on April 12 that includes 29 charges of child abuse with no injury and one count of child abuse with bodily injuries according to online court records.
Fitzgerald reportedly declined to be interviewed by 13 Investigates. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on May 12.
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