Aide pulled from Keokuk school bus following abuse allegations
Mon, 04 Apr 2011 19:20:49 GMT —
UPDATED: April 12 at 8:15 a.m.
The Keokuk Police Department has concluded its investigation of alleged abuse by a school district bus employee.
Officers conducted several interviews into the allegations. All reports were forwarded to the Lee County Attorney's office for review.
Lee County Attorney Michael Short determined that the Keokuk School District employee is exonerated of any alleged wrong doing.
We asked our readers what they think on Facebook. We want to know if every bus should have a camera recording at all times.
Trent Hunziker told us, "Yes, that way parents can see how bad there kids are. Not that most would care."
BJ Shakespeare says, "There should be 2 cameras per bus.... 1 focused on the passengers & 1 focused on the bus driver (So that the drivers actions are recorded. Like Speeding & Carelessness!)"
Join the conversation by clicking here .
UPDATED: April 11 at 9:30 p.m.
More questions than answers Monday night for some Tri-State families who are trying to get to the bottom of a situation on a Keokuk School bus.
Steve Bryant says he has two children that have disabilities and they ride a bus to and from school everyday.
He says a few weeks ago, he found out that there was alleged physical abuse on board the bus involving several of the children.
He filed a report with Keokuk Police Department and also spoke with the Keokuk School District about the case.
Monday night he and his attorney hoped to address the board and ask some questions about the investigation and the incident.
Steve Bryant's part of the school board meeting was quite short. At the beginning of the meeting, his attorney gave a statement and addressed concerns about his client's safety. The attorney spoke for about a minute. When he was done, the school board said thanks and moved on to other business. Neither Bryant nor his attorney would comment after the meeting. Bryant and his attorney were not on the school board agenda, they were just part of the meeting called Constituent Communications, so the board wasn't expected to solve anything. We did speak to Keokuk's Superintendent earlier, and here's what she had to say.
Dr. Lora Wolff says "We take every complaint or concern or things brought to us seriously. Because kids' lives are involved and it's also employees' lives. So we want to make sure that we're getting the most accurate information that we possibly can."
KHQA was able to speak to one parent at the meeting. Tony Garrett has an autistic daughter, who he says has had some issues at school, not on a school bus. He came to this meeting in hopes of figuring out what his next step might be if he needs to address his concerns about the safety of his daughter to the school board.
Tony Garrett says, "From what I seen I was very disappointed. I couldn't believe that's all that was said."
Other parents were also at the meeting with concerns of their daughter on the school bus. Neither one of them had any comment about this meeting either.
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KHQA will continue to follow this story and make sure you get all the information that's out there.
UPDATED: April 11 at 10:25 a.m.
The Keokuk School Board meeting scheduled for Monday night at 7 will address the issue of the aide removed from duties on a school bus.
At least one parent of a child who rides the school bus plans to attend the meeting to present concerns to board members.
This is a regularly scheduled meeting of the Keokuk School Board.
The meetings are held in the Keokuk High School Media Center.
UPDATED: April 5 at 1:40 p.m. A Keokuk school staff member has been removed from duties as an aide on a school bus for special needs students.
School superintendent Doctor Lora Wolff confirmed to KHQA the district is investigating a complaint regarding the full-time employee.
A father of two special needs children who rides that bus told KHQA there have been several reports of children suffering bruises after being hit by the employee.
As of Tuesday, a fourth parent has come forth and filed a police report.
One of the four parents says he's now going to an attorney after hearing the school bus driver may have known these assaults were taking place on the bus.
We are unsure whether cameras were in place at the time of the abuse. KHQA spoke to the Keokuk school's transportation director who said not every bus has a camera. He would not comment any further on the subject.
Keokuk Superintendent Dr. Lora Wolff was out of the office Tuesday but told KHQA she'll have more information Wednesday.
The father who contacted us said he's pleased the district removed the employee from the bus so his child can ride safely again. Parents have created a petition on Facebook: Petition to have suspected abuser removed.
KHQA will continue to bring you more details as they become available, so check this story later.