MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Blue Earth Area School bus driver, who was charged with fifth-degree assault after allegedly slapping a child who was making other children cry, has reached a plea deal with the county.
According to the charges, Jane Elizabeth Brooks, 72, of Blue Earth, Minn., had slapped the boy on the cheek after he had spit on, kicked, and made other children on the bus cry. She then said, “Well, maybe that’s what he needed,” when other riders questioned the action.
A judge signed off on a plea deal reached between Brooks and the county attorney and Brooks has accepted a continuance for dismissal. In the deal, Brooks won’t admit guilt, but must have a full year free of assaults, disorderly conduct or related charges. If that happens, the charges will be dismissed.
After the initial incident, some juvenile riders reported that the boy had been bleeding afterward.
The complaint states that the boy had hit another smaller child on the head with a book bag, making the child cry. Brooks stopped the bus and moved the boy to a different seat – the one right behind the bus driver.
The boy then began to kick children across the aisle from him. When Brooks asked older riders to sit with the boy and babysit him, they declined. After contacting the school for assistance, Brooks wasn’t able to receive help, but was told to move other children away from the boy.
As Brooks was doing so, the boy spit on the children in the seat behind him. On the bus’ video, one of the kids can be seen wiping the spittle off her face.
Brooks told the boy not to spit on other children and after he spit yet again, Brooks slapped him.
The video is still being reviewed by the county attorney.