Bus aide caught on video slapping non-verbal 6-year-old autistic girl in the face

A father is heartbroken after school bus surveillance footage in Illinois revealed that a school bus aide slapped a young girl in the face repeatedly while on the way home from school.

ABC 7 reports that the incident took place in New Lenox, Illinois, while 6-year-old Kaylee was sitting in a seat on the bus, across from an unidentified bus aide. The woman was touching Kaylee, which made the little girl upset. Her father, Nicholas Rushing, said that Kaylee gets frantic when people don’t give her personal space. The girl spat on the bus aide, who in turn slapped the child in the face at least twice. Rushing found out about the incident after the superintendent of New Lenox School District 122 asked him to review the footage.

“She is an awesome kid and she is super sweet and for this to happen as a dad it almost feels like I failed her … I don’t think I have ever been more mad in my life,” Rushing said.

Kaylee didn’t suffer any injuries from the attack, but she now reacts differently when around strangers. Rushing said his daughter now wants nothing to do with anyone that she doesn’t know.

“It kind of changed her personality on things. She doesn’t want anything to do with people she doesn’t know…..She’s nonverbal, she can’t come back and be like, ‘Dad, this lady hit me, not just once, she hit me twice.”

The school district stated that the bus aide driver had only been working on that particular bus for a few weeks and didn’t know the child’s special circumstances. They also said that aide was a contractor, not an employee of the school.

According to the bus operator’s executive director, Sarah Rexroad, an investigation is currently underway to see if the aide has treated other children the same way. Rexroad didn’t provide any additional information. New Lenox police are also investigating the incident.

“I cannot provide a specific comment at this time. There is an ongoing investigation regarding an incident that allegedly occurred on a school bus. Student safety is a number one priority for the cooperative,” Raxroad said.

So far, no charges have been filed against the aide. It’s unclear if she was terminated from her job.

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