WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Police said that a special education instructional assistant here was arrested last week after school bus video showed him apparently pushing a restrained special-needs student multiple times, Tampa Bay Times reports.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said that on Sept. 18 and 20, school bus video showed Derek Bray Simpson "putting all of his body weight" on the student, who was restrained in a four-point harness, and "putting his head down," according to the newspaper. (The student is nonverbal and can only communicate using sign language.) The arrest report stated that Simpson was apparently seen restraining the student's arms by the wrist and putting his elbow into the side of the student's neck, Tampa Bay Times reports. Simpson was arrested on Sept. 25 on two counts of child abuse.
Linda Cobbe, a spokeswoman for the Pasco County School District, told the newspaper that Simpson has been an instructional assistant at the school since April 2017, and doesn't have a disciplinary record. She added that he completed nonviolent crisis intervention training in January.
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