An Ohio bus driver is facing termination and has been suspended without pay for using physical force in her efforts to quell an autistic 8-year-old “acting out” on a school bus.
Surveillance footage captured the Jan. 17 incident and shows Ashland City School bus driver Cathy Goetz slap the unidentified child who can be heard screaming and not complying with the driver’s instructions.
After being smacked in the face, the child is heard threatening Goetz who then dials 911. Eventually an officer arrives and escorts the autistic child off of the bus.
However, Goetz did not tell the officer that she had slapped the child, only saying he had been grabbed around the collar, according to WAGA-TV. She later told investigators and school officials she did not remember slapping the 8-year-old, only grabbing him to prevent being kicked and hurt herself.
Upon reviewing the video, authorities made the decision to charge Goetz with assault, menacing and child endangering, WAGA-TV reported.
Now, she faces termination from her job.
“It was just the way that the situation was handled, what she did both verbally was a concern but….It was the physical part that upset me, and I thought that once I saw that, something had to be done,” Dr. Douglas Marrah, the School Superintendent, said.
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