STARK COUNTY, Ill.– A bus driver and an aide for Stark County schools have been suspended after school officials confirmed a five-gallon pail was put over a student’s head in an attempt to address a “behavior concern.”
CUSD 100 is investigating the incident. The Board of Education will vote to terminate employment. Its next meeting is June 17.
Superintendent Dr. Nick Sutton says they will not return to school. The Department of Children and Family Services and local law enforcement have also been notified.
WMBD has spoken with the mother of the 7-year-old boy, Barbara Keske. She said her son is on the autism spectrum and has outbursts of screams.
The five-gallon pail is reportedly known to students on the bus as a “screaming bucket” for her son specifically.
“I want them arrested to the fullest extent,” said Keske. “I want them prosecuted to the fullest extent. I am so mad. There are things I can’t describe…I just don’t know why they though that was okay.”
Keske says everything changed because a trip to the gas station. It was during conversations with other parents and kids that she pieced together that the “scream bucket” used for her son only.
“It’s just really sad that the school failed him,” said Keske. “The bus driver failed him. That aide failed him and his own peers failed him. You know, we’re supposed to be the voice for children with special needs because they’re not able to sometimes tell us what’s going on and it scares me that this happened to him.”
Keske says her trust in the school transportation system is gone.
“I entrusted these two individuals to take my child to school safely and bring him home to me safely and that wasn’t the case,” said Keske.
Keske says she has filed a police report with the Toulon Police Department.
On Friday, Toulon’s Police Chief, Gary Bent said they have launched their own investigation.
In a public Facebook post, Keske wrote:
“There was so many bruises. There wasnt a part that didnt have one. He had old bruises and new bruises. You put a bucket on my sons head, holding him down and force It upon him and sit on him and then you cry wolf and have him suspended from the bus because he was trying to defend himself from YOU hitting him and putting a bucket on his head! I hope you enjoyed this! You 2 should be a shame of yourselves. Look what you have done to my child! Look what you have done! I will not let this go.”
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