A school bus surveillance camera captured footage of an Illinois aide slapping a six-year-old autistic girl in the face.
The video, taken on a bus headed to a school in the Chicago suburb of New Lenox, shows an unidentified female aide striking the child who is nonverbal, but can be seen screaming.
The local school district superintendent contacted Kaylee’s father, Nicholas Rushing, to view the footage which shows the aide touching Kaylee throughout the bus ride and disrespecting the girl’s personal space.
Kaylee reacted by spitting on the woman, who then slapped the child in the face.
“When she’s having that meltdown, she needs that space and be able to mellow it out herself. And she does it,” Rushing said.
Kaylee was not injured in the incident, yet Rushing says that as a result of what took place, his daughter “doesn’t want anything to do with people she doesn’t know.”
“She is an awesome kid and she is super sweet and for this to happen, as a dad, it almost feels like I failed her,” Rushing told CNN. “I don’t think I have ever been more mad in my life.”
As a nonverbal child, Kaylee was unable to tell her parents what had occurred on the bus.
According to Rushing, the aide had only been employed by the bus contractor, Lincoln-Way Special Education District, for two weeks and did not appear to be trained to properly interact with Kaylee. The aide was not an employee of the school district.
Lincoln-Way Special Education District executive director Sarah Rexroad told CNN that safety on the bus is “a number one priority” for the company, and that they are investigating the incident.
New Lenox Police are also reviewing the case, but no charges have been filed.
Meanwhile, Kaylee’s parents have posted a petition on Change.org in hopes of ending the abuse of people with disabilities.
Kaylee’s mother, Madeline Norley said, “It just makes me want to cry to be honest with you. As a mom, just seeing that, it’s disgusting.”
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