Watch: School Bus Driver Gets 30 Counts of Child Abuse for This One Moment Behind the Wheel


A now-former school bus driver in Colorado has been slapped with 30 misdemeanor child abuse charges for slamming the brakes on his bus as a way to get pupils to behave.

Brian Fitzgerald, 61, a substitute driver, was hit with the charges of knowing and reckless child abuse after an investigation by Castle Rock police. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 12, according to KDVR-TV. He has also been fired.

The charges stem from a March 1 incident in which Fitzgerald was driving a bus for the Douglas County School District. The bus was carrying 30 children home from Castle Rock Elementary School, according to KRDO-TV.

Video of the incident shows the driver asking his passengers “You guys want to see how dangerous that is?” (10 seconds.)

The bus then jerked to a stop. The bus went from 9 mph to zero mph, a speedometer on the recording showed, according to KDVR.

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“Did you get that? That’s why you need to be in your seat. Turn around and sit down properly. If you guys can’t do that you will get written up. Do you get that?” the driver then says.

According to KRDO-TV, a subsequent video from the bus showed the driver explaining to a parent that the children “were bouncing all over the place and I was coming to a stop and I hit the brakes hard because they were running all over the place.”

Did this school bus driver go too far?

One parent reported that her fourth-grade son was scared by what took place.

“My son came tearing the through the door that afternoon, He sprinted all the way home. He was out of breath and red-faced and absolutely sobbing and shaking. He was terrified,” ” Lauren Thomason said, according to KRDO.

“He had slammed his head into the seat back in front of him. Another buddy had slammed his head into the window. So his neck and his head were hurting,” said Thomason, adding that her reaction was, “What’s happening? Who is this person? This is not the regular bus driver.”

KRDO said that when it saw an internal file in Fitzgerald, it learned that this was the first time he had driven a bus for more than special education students.

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The driver sent a letter of apology to the district.

‘I am sincerely sorry for my choice of actions today in my efforts of training students. I am still 100% responsible for my actions in trying to both educate and control students on the bus. Being a new driver, I did not make the best decision and if I were able to redo what I did I would rethink my decisions,” he wrote.

However, he still lost his job.

“The video is incredibly difficult to watch. Riding a bus to and from school should be a happy, enjoyable experience for students. The behavior and actions of this bus driver are completely unacceptable,” district Public Information Officer Paula Hans said in a statement, according to KDVR.

“We are so grateful to the parents and the principal who reported this incident, allowing us to take swift action and ensure this driver was never again allowed behind the wheel of a DCSD bus,” she said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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