Broken Bones & Missing Teeth?! School Bus Aide Allegedly ‘Traumatized & Tortured’ Autistic Students

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By Margaretd. Regina

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

This is horrifying. Littleton Public Schools paraprofessional Kiarra Jones has been arrested after allegedly abusing three students with autism on their rides to and from school. WTF.

In a press release on Wednesday, the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm claimed three students endured “extreme physical and mental abuse” over the last six months thanks to the 29-year-old aide, per ABC News. The students all went to The Joshua School, which is highly regarded for kids with autism, and they used a dedicated bus provided by the LPS transportation system. The school may be quality — but the bus was clearly not a safe space! Jones allegedly subjected the kids to “unfathomable abuse,” which they could not report because they were all non-verbal.

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Parents (who are prepared to sue the school district) first noticed the kids arriving home with horrifying injuries in September, the law firm explained:

“[Parents] saw significant shifts in their child’s behavior and noticed physical injuries on their child, including unexplained scratches, bruises, a lost tooth, a broken toe, a black eye, and other deep bruises on their bodies and feet.”

Broken bones and missing teeth?!? JFC!

According to the firm, parents reached out to the school with concerns in January, and the faculty then looped in the school district. But apparently they failed to do a proper or lengthy investigation, causing the abuse to continue for many months. It came to a head on March 18 when Jones was caught on camera physically abusing a 10-year-old boy named Dax on the school bus — elbowing him in the stomach, slapping him in the face, and stomping on his feet. It’s this video that seemingly helped lead to the disgraced aide’s arrest. The clip was shared by Dax’s parents with CBS News Colorado this week in hopes of calling attention to the abuse.

The child’s father Devin (lower inset) told the outlet that “through lack of action, accountability, and frankly a lack of care, it has again been made abundantly clear how low my son’s needs are on the social totem pole, as far as the school system is concerned.” He added:

“They took my trust and spit on it.”

Because Dax is non-verbal, his facial expressions and body language are what speak for him — which is why his parents wanted an unedited recording of the abuse released to the public. The student’s mother Jess (top inset) explained:

“It was a heavy decision to make to uncover it, but we cannot bring attention to this if we don’t look at it. It’s ugly to look at, but it’s important to see how confused and afraid he was in that video. It just speaks to his vulnerability, and it speaks to the terror he had to endure while on that bus.”

She continued in tears:

“How could someone that I trusted, someone that I was so friendly with do this to my little boy? The torture and torment of my sweet boy could’ve been stopped.”

Jess was one of the mothers who noticed strange bumps and bruises on her son in the fall, which she contacted the school about (though they insisted the injuries did not occur while Dax was in their care). As issues continued, she brought her concerns to LPS but was told there was nothing to be worried about. But one day after notifying LPS, she was informed about the security footage by local police on March 19.

Slamming those involved, attorney Ed C. Hopkins from the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm said:

“They had everything they needed to stop it faster and they didn’t. They had notice and they ignored it. These children have been traumatized and tortured because they failed them.”

In response, LPS said in a letter obtained by the outlet:

“This kind of behavior cannot be and is not tolerated. As parents, you trust us with the well-being of your children and you should never have to worry about them being harmed when they are in our care.”

In the letter, they claim Jones was hired in August 2023 — just one month before the injuries started to appear — “after satisfactory reference checks and after passing through a background check.” She was arrested (and fired, thank goodness) on April 4 on charges of crimes against at-risk juvenile – third-degree assault and crimes against at-risk juvenile – injury but was released the next day on a $5K bond. She will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 3.

Jeez. The poor students! Wishing them nothing but healing and safety moving forward! Thoughts? Share them in the comments (below).

If you have sincere cause to suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org

[Image via Arapahoe County & CBS Colorado/YouTube]

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