RICHMOND, Va. — The state Department of Education is conducting a review of the training procedures used in Bedford County schools to handle special-needs students on board school buses.
The state department notified the school district of the review last month and said it will begin “to place greater emphasis on pupil transportation issues” in each of the state’s 132 school divisions, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch. This includes monitoring for compliance with state and federal laws.
The announcement follows disclosures by the newspaper about a $20 million suit filed against the Bedford County school system over alleged beatings transportation aides administered to a severely autistic student in 2009.
The physical attacks on then 11-year-old Timothy E. Kilpatrick were captured by a surveillance camera on Kilpatrick’s bus and later confiscated by police after Kilpatrick’s father complained about possible abuse.
A bus driver and aide were convicted of assault in the case and left the school system after the alleged attacks, Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.