DES MOINES, Iowa — A former school bus aide who was fired for allegedly abusing a special-needs student was reinstated by an arbitrator, but the school district is fighting the decision.
Documents related to an unemployment insurance appeals decision stated that Ruby Taylor, the bus aide, mistreated the student during a bus ride on Nov. 4, 2015, according to WHO. She yelled at the boy for crying, did not secure his required restraints tightly enough, and pinned him against the side of the bus, according to the documents. Des Moines Public Schools fired Taylor and the bus driver on Dec. 1, 2015. (The bus driver was fired for not intervening.)
Taylor was determined to be ineligible for unemployment benefits because her actions were considered to be misconduct under state code, according to The Des Moines Register. In October 2016, her union filed a grievance on her behalf, and in December, an arbitrator ruled in favor of Taylor, reinstating her in her position at the school. The arbitrator wrote that Taylor could have better addressed the situation, but noted that she had been an employee with the district for the last 20 years, and had no prior issues with handling special-needs students, the newspaper reports.
Meanwhile, court documents stated that Des Moines Public Schools filed a petition on March 7 to have the arbitrator's decision thrown out, noting there was evidence of child abuse and neglect, according to The Des Moines Register. The president of Taylor’s union told the newspaper that he expects to go to court over the issue, because he believes that Taylor was wrongfully terminated.