Bus aide given leave of absence for slapping child who spit on them

Fargo Public Schools
Fargo Public Schools(Fargo Public Schools)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2022 at 7:59 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A bus aide has been given a leave of absence after slapping a Fargo Public School student with special needs on a bus Thursday afternoon.

Valley Bus, who runs the buses for the district, says the incident happened after the student spit on the aide.

John McLaughlin, the General Manager for Valley Bus, tells Valley News Live, in a statement:

“During the afternoon routes on Thursday, September 15 there was an incident in which a special needs student spit in the up-close face of one of our aides and the aide quickly slapped the student. This is not an appropriate behavior for an aide, even given such provocation. We have removed the aide from that route and given a leave of absence, while we determine next steps. The aide has an exemplary work history, with over 20 years of service – this is not something that has occurred previously. She has also apologized for this event. We will be working closely with Fargo Public Schools to ensure an outcome that is safe for all parties, most importantly, the children we transport.”

Fargo school leaders confirm the situation, and say they are aware Valley Bus has been in contact with the parents. The individual is not a school employee but an employee of Valley Bus. The person does not work in Fargo schools with students.