Sunday, May 26, 2024

Colorado School Bus Aide Arrested for Assaulting Disabled Students

HomeU.S.Colorado School Bus Aide Arrested for Assaulting Disabled Students

A disturbing case of abuse against vulnerable children has rocked the community of Littleton, Colorado. Kiarra Jones, a 28-year-old paraprofessional employed by Littleton Public Schools (LPS), has been arrested and charged with third-degree assault and injury against at-risk juveniles. The charges stem from a horrific incident caught on video, showing Jones physically assaulting three autistic students during their bus ride home from the Joshua School on March 18th.

The Violent Video Evidence

The footage, which the parents of one victim chose to release publicly in an unredacted form, depicts a shocking level of violence. Jones can be seen viciously attacking 10-year-old Dax, a non-verbal autistic child seated beside her on the bus. The assault included elbow strikes to Dax’s stomach, slaps across his face, and even foot stomps.

The video also shows two other disabled students on the bus witnessing and potentially being subjected to abuse themselves. Jess, Dax’s mother, tearfully explained the importance of making the video public despite its disturbing nature: “It’s ugly to look at, but it’s important to see how confused and afraid he was…it speaks to his vulnerability, and it speaks to the terror he had to endure.”

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Devastating Injuries and Trauma

The physical and emotional toll on the young victims has been immense. Dax suffered scratches, bruises, a lost tooth, a broken toe, and a black eye from the assault by Jones. But beyond the visible injuries, the children have been deeply traumatized by having their trust violated in such a cruel way.

“They took my trust and spit on it,” said Devin, Dax’s father, his voice thick with anguish. Another parent expressed heartbreak that their non-verbal child was forced to witness friends being abused, with no ability to describe or understand the trauma.

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Allegations of Negligence by School District

While the violent March 18th incident was the catalyst for Jones’ arrest, families say there were warning signs of abuse that Littleton Public Schools allegedly ignored for months. Jess reported noticing unusual injuries on Dax as early as September 2023 and repeatedly raised concerns with the district, only to be dismissed.

“I notified LPS on March 18th and on March 19th got a phone call from Littleton police informing me that an LPS employee had severely abused my child,” Jess recounted. “The torture and torment of my sweet boy could’ve been stopped.”

The families have announced plans to take legal action against LPS, accusing the school district of negligence for failing to address months of apparent abuse despite repeated parent concerns.

A Sickening Betrayal of Trust

The case has sent shockwaves through Littleton, a suburb of Denver. Parents have expressed disgust that an employee entrusted with protecting disabled children could allegedly commit such appalling acts of violence.

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“My son doesn’t have the ability to tell me when someone is hurting him,” said one parent, their voice breaking with emotion. For families of non-verbal autistic children, sending them off via specialized bus services involves placing immense trust in caretakers like Jones.

David Lane, an attorney representing some of the families, did not mince words when describing the alleged crimes as “torture.” The impact on these vulnerable young lives will likely linger far beyond the physical healing.

A Lengthy Road Ahead

While Jones awaits a preliminary hearing on May 3rd, 2024, this disturbing case also raises broader societal questions. How do we better protect those with disabilities? What more can school districts do to vet employees? And how can trust be restored after such a sickening betrayal?

For the young victims, focus will remain on their recovery and healing from this traumatic ordeal. Their families have taken an important first step by bringing Jones’ deplorable alleged actions into the light. As Littleton and the nation follow further legal proceedings, this case stands as a tragic reminder of the imbalance of power between caretakers and those they are entrusted to serve.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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