Florida bus driver Stephanie Wilkerson has been charged with aggravated child abuse after she pushed an 8-year-old autistic girl off a school bus with her foot. The incident, which happened in September, was captured on video, which Florida prosecutors recently made public.
Police say Wilkerson, 41, was driving the special-needs children to school in Tampa when the little girl wanted to get off the bus. After being told to wait her turn, the child slapped and pushed the driver.
In the video, Wilkerson hesitates for about a minute before using her foot to push the girl down the steps. The girl fractured her ankle in the fall, reports The Daily Mail. The girl stayed down until another adult picked her up. Wilkerson was suspended without pay in November and then fired in January of this year. She had been driving the bus since August of 2008.
Hillsborough County Schools spokesman Steve Hegarty called Wilkerson's actions that day an isolated incident. “When bus drivers see something like this, and they'll probably see the video on TV tonight, their heart sinks a little bit because they know they're looking out for their kids every single day,” he said.
The video is below: