TAMPA, Fla. — A former bus driver for Hillsborough County School District faces a charge of aggravated child abuse for an incident caught on video in which she allegedly kicks an autistic student, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The incident occurred in September, and the video was released by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office in late March. It shows Stephanie Wilkerson on the bus with students, and a child hesitates on the bus’ stairs while another stands behind Wilkerson. Shortly thereafter, Wilkerson thrusts her left foot forward, and it makes contact with the child on the stairs, who falls and rolls around on the ground. Wilkerson is shown getting off the bus, where several adults hover around the girl. Police said she broke her ankle in the fall.
A spokesperson for Hillsborough County School District told The Tampa Bay Times that Wilkerson was immediately suspended after the incident, and her employment was terminated. She was arrested in October, and she pled not guilty to the charge against her.
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The video below shows footage from the incident.