ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Louis County mom says she could see it in her child’s eyes—the fear. However, it was the marks on his neck that had her upset and wanting answers.
“I was kind of wondering why he was late,” said Roshonda Paine. “As soon as he came in, he was just crying, and he said, ’Mom, can I ride another bus? I don’t want to ride the bus anymore.’ And he said, ‘Look at what he did to my neck.’”
Paine claimed her 7-year-old son was assaulted by a bus driver’s aide on Feb. 9.
Paine said her son was seated on a school bus when the driver’s aide yelled at him, grabbed him by the hair, and then by the neck. She said she contacted someone from the Ferguson-Florissant transportation department.
“We asked him what was the bus aide’s name because we would like to press charges,” Paine said. “He asked us several times, ‘Please don’t call the police or press charges. Please allow us to do our investigations.’”
She said she spoke with Ferguson police, filed a report, and then spoke to the principal and superintendent.
On Tuesday, Paine said she and her husband were allowed to view a video of the incident at the administration building.
“He took his hand and grabbed my son’s hair,” Paine said. “My son has a Mohawk, so you can see his hair over the bus. He grabbed him and shook it to the left and said, ‘You are very, very hardheaded, and shut up and stay out of grown folks’ business.”
School officials informed the Paines that the original video had been erased and that the driver’s aide had been transferred to another route.
A spokesperson from the Ferguson-Florissant School District released the following statement:
“Since this is a personnel matter, we are unable to share details. But we want to assure you that Ferguson-Florissant School District takes any allegation of misconduct by a staff member seriously and thoroughly investigates any allegations of inappropriate behavior.”
Paine said that she is disgusted and surprised by how protective the district is of the driver’s aide and their district’s image.
“I would like to see care and concern,” she said. “I would like for them to discipline and get this driver away from the school district, from all school districts. He doesn’t need to be around any children.”