A bus driver in Florida has been fired and charged after she was caught on video literally kicking a special-needs child off the bus, causing the girl to hurt her ankle.
The incident occurred in September, but prosecutors just this week released the video showing what happened.
School bus driver seen kicking an 8-year-old off the bus with her foot. (Image: screenshot via WTSP)
The driver, 41-year-old Stephanie Wilkerson, has been charged with aggravated child abuse. A phone number listed for her was disconnected, and it was not immediately known if she had an attorney.
Police say Wilkerson was driving the special-needs children to school in Tampa on Sept. 28 when the 8-year-old wanted to get off the bus. She was told to wait her turn, but police say the student, who WTSP identified as autistic, slapped and pushed the driver.
The video shows Wilkerson using her foot to push the girl off the stairs after she hesitated for about a minute. The girl fell and fractured her ankle.
WPIX reported that although the audio was not captured on the video released by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office, the driver is reported to have also said "I'd buy a belt, if she were mine she would not hit adults ever again."
Here's the report with the recently released video:
This is the raw footage of the incident from WTSP:
"You can't lose your cool," Steve Hegarty, the school district spokesperson, said to WTSP. "You're the adult, you're held to very high standards and as a result of not meeting that standard, she was fired."
Although Wilkerson rushed off the bus when the student fell down the stairs, WTSP noted that she didn't seem too concerned given that in later footage she is seen eating in the driver's seat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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(H/T: Daily Mail)