CHILHOWEE, Mo. — Authorities are investigating after a school bus driver in the small Missouri town of Chilhowee allegedly tried to control two special-needs students with duct tape.
According to the mother of one of the students, the unidentified school bus driver allegedly told her 8-year-old son – who has autism – that she was going to seal his mouth with duct tape.
“I would not expect a professional in our school system to do that to a child,” said Linda Lujan. “I guess (the bus driver) pulled over and told (Lujan’s son) Connor that he needed to shut his (expletive) mouth or he was going to duct tape him.”
Lujan admits that Connor, who was buckled in a special harness, was kicking the back of the driver’s seat, saying that he wanted to get off the school bus and visit a nearby aunt. But Lujan alleges that a few days after that incident, the same bus driver wrapped a kindergartner’s wrists and ankles with duct tape after that special need’s boy tried to get off his school bus.
“It infuriates me,” said Lujan, adding that she is “disgusted” with the school district. “They knew that there was a possibility that one of the kids would have a meltdown or tantrum or something would happen on the bus.”
In a statement, Chilhowee School District superintendent Jeff Blackford said that the district takes the allegations very seriously, and will thoroughly investigate the matter. Officals with the state of Missouri and the sheriff’s office are also looking into the allegations.