Bus drivers, teachers, and other school personnel are entrusted with our children’s safety and well-being. Parents should never have to question that their child is safe under the supervision of school officials. That being said, bus driver abuse and neglect has become a major issue. It has become such an issue that St. Clair Representative Nate Tate introduced House Bill 1403, a bill that, if approved, would require all school districts in the State of Missouri to have working video cameras on every bus. Video footage captured by the cameras would be required to be archived for 60 days, and if an incident is reported, video footage will be archived for a year.
Tate introduced House Bill 1403 after First Student school bus driver, Terry Rice, was charged with child abuse, a Class D felony, in Warren County. Rice is also facing numerous criminal charges in Franklin County, including eight counts of kidnapping, a misdemeanor, and a fourth-degree assault, also a misdemeanor, after allegations that Rice allegedly abused one of the children on his bus over 200 times.
An ongoing investigation into Rice has been underway since June 2019 after the child’s mother received notice from a school staff member that her child had been physically restrained for the entire 18-mile trip to and from school. The child’s family has filed a lawsuit against First Student, Rice, and Ruth E. Cunningham, a bus aide that did not report the incidents.
According to a statement from Tate regarding House Bill 1403, “I feel like if I can get a public hearing and maybe get the family to come forward and testify about their experience that we can create enough awareness that everyone is going to be outraged by what happened and supportive of this bill… I think when you are talking about children, especially the most vulnerable of children, we should make sure that we are ensuring their safety.”
At The Simon Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys are here to help provide abuse and neglect victims and their families with supportive and effective counseling and are committed to doing everything in our power to hold individuals responsible for the abuse and neglect accountable for their actions. Our personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case and will be by your side every step of the way. If your child, or someone you know, has been the victim of bus driver abuse and neglect, please contact The Simon Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible for a free and 100% confidential case evaluation.