Video has been released allegedly showing a Polk County school bus monitor strike a special needs student.
Brenda Nelson, 65, was arrested Thursday. She is charged with one count of child abuse. According to deputies, she struck the female student on the head on Wednesday.
School bus video shows the student strapped to her seat in the bus and as Nelson walks by, she hits her on the head with an open hand and says, "I'm gonna slap that tongue out of your mouth when I get up there."
Investigators also say Nelson grabbed the victim by her hair and violently shook her head back and forth and to the side.
Investigators talked to Nelson, who says she didn't remember hitting the victim. She said as she was trying to get another child off the bus, that the victim was beating on the window and trying to get out of her seat, though she was strapped in by a harness.
Nelson also said the victim was misbehaving, which upset the other bus riders.
"I guess I done it. I didn't remember hitting her," Nelson reportedly told deputies. "I must have just lost it. I don't remember doing that. I would never hit one of those kids."
Nelson was arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail.
The following is a statement from the Polk County School Board and Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd:
"Our children are the single most precious thing on this earth. At Polk County Public Schools, our most important job is to protect them, to provide them with a safe environment in which they can grow, learn and thrive. This employee squandered the trust of the children and families in her care. She does not embody the values of Polk County Public Schools, and I will not tolerate it. I have instructed my HR staff to immediately begin the process of termination."
Nelson has worked as a bus attendant since 1983. She doesn't have any disciplinary actions on her record.
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