DES MOINES, Iowa — A school bus driver and attendant here were fired and denied unemployment benefits for an incident involving a special-needs student last November, WHO reports.
Documents related to an unemployment insurance appeals decision state that Ruby Taylor, the bus attendant, mistreated the student during a bus ride on Nov. 4, according to the news source. The document states that the student was crying when he boarded the bus. The boy required seating securement with a wraparound seat belt, and the document alleges that Taylor did not secure the straps tightly enough, allowing the student to stand up.
The document also alleges, according to WHO, that Taylor shouted at the student that he was “too big to by crying” and threatened to kick him off the bus if he didn’t quiet down. Taylor was reportedly not watching the other students aboard the bus and was on her personal phone, the news source reports. The document also states that Taylor then allegedly pinned the student against the side of the bus “more and more tightly” until his face was against the side of the bus, and did not release him until the bus reached his stop, about seven minutes later, according to WHO.
Des Moines Public Schools’ investigation into the incident determined that Taylor violated district policies “in how she spoke to and touched the child,” WHO reports. Taylor and the bus driver were fired on Dec. 1. The bus driver was fired for not intervening and preventing the abuse, according to KCCI. Records show both Taylor and the bus driver lost their appeals to keep their unemployment benefits, and were ordered to repay the benefits they had received.