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Woman Chokes Special Education Student on School Bus in Dallas

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 9th, 2009

A video on board a school bus in Dallas captured images of a mentally challenged student being choked by a school bus driver. Typically, there would be a monitor on board the bus to help the driver with unruly students like Xavier, a middle school student. However, that wasn't the case on this particular day. This time, the monitor was not able to make it.

After pulling away from the school, young Xavier begins to act up and shout obscenities. If you watch the video, Janet Pitts, the driver, begins to become increasingly angry. Finally, she loses it and wanders to the back of the bus and begins to choke the child. All of this was documented on tape, which, surprisingly, Xavier's mother hadn't seen until she was contacted by News 8. When it happened, she claims that a Dallas County employee followed up with her, but never admitted that Pitts choked her son.

A spokeswoman for Dallas County Schools said that there was nothing in writing that stated there was to be a monitor on the bus with young Xavier. However, according to the special education department, "there was a request made...that there should be a monitor on the bus at all times due to this child's aggressive behavior.

Apparently, getting help isn't very easy for the DISD. Currently, there are only 150 monitors for all 4,500 of the Dallas special education students. The district simply does not have the resources to hire more people.

Pitts was fired after the video surfaced, but she has since appealed the decision. The board reinstated Pitts sometime in April. However, after the investigation done by WFAA, a special board meeting was held to terminate Pitts from her job once more.

On a good note, Dallas county has changed its policies. All special education bus drivers have to be certified to restrain children.

Source: WFAA.com