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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Colorado bus driver faces charges for allegedly slapping kid over mask dispute

Cedar Rapids KCRG-TV logo Cedar Rapids KCRG-TV 5/18/2021 Ashley Franco
a blurry image of a person: Colorado bus driver facing charges for reportedly slapping kid © Provided by Cedar Rapids KCRG-TV Colorado bus driver facing charges for reportedly slapping kid

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado bus driver is under fire following an incident where a 10-year-old says he slapped her all because of a face mask.

The incident happened back in early April on a route home in Fremont County. According to documents obtained by 11 News, several girls were arguing about masks in the back of the bus. In a written statement to the school, the 10-year-old girl says she wasn’t feeling well so she moved her mask below her nose. She goes on to say the bus driver, Bertram Jaquez, came to the back of the bus to see what was happening. She writes he tried to move her mask up, and then she says he slapped her for not moving the mask up.

In a written statement to the school district, Jaquez admitted, “Out of reaction, I slapped her once.”

The incident was caught on surveillance video in the bus. It can be viewed at the top of this article. The video was blurred to protect the identity of the students.

Jaquez is facing misdemeanor charges including harassment, assault causing injury, and child abuse.

The district released this statement following the incident:

-Fremont County School District statement”We believe it is never okay to lay a hand on a child. The District responded quickly to the situation by placing the driver on administrative leave so that we could fully investigate the incident. Local police were involved during the investigation as well as us being in contact with the child’s family. The driver’s action justified termination of employment, as it goes against District policy and our values. We are very saddened by this incident. Our goal every day is to transport students safely to school and back home, but that can only happen when everyone, including students and staff, follows the rules. We are currently working to identify next steps to help our drivers with strategies designed to support a safe ride to and from school.”

You can read the handwritten statement from the student by clicking here.

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