Bus Driver Facing 30 Child Abuse Charges For Purposely Slamming On Brakes, Sending Kids Flying

Bus Driver Facing 30 Child Abuse Charges For Purposely Slamming On Brakes, Sending Kids Flying Douglas County School District

A Colorado bus driver is in some seriously hot water after he purposely slammed the brakes and sent kids flying on the way home from school. Brian Fitzgerald, 61, was working for the Douglas County School District at the time. While driving students home from Castle Rock Elementary on March 1, he braked hard to teach the kids a “lesson,” resulting in 30 child abuse charges being filed.

In video footage taken inside the bus, Fitzgerald can be heard telling the students to stay in their seats before asking, “You guys want to see how dangerous that is?” and then slamming on the brakes. He was said to be going about 9mph when he pulled the stunt, but it was still enough to send the kids falling forward.

“Did you get that? That’s why you need to be in your seat. Turn around and sit down properly,” he then tells them unapologetically. Some of the kids asked Fitzgerald why he would do that, while others checked on injured friends. One child even called someone on his phone, telling them, “The bus driver hit the brakes, and somebody got hurt so badly and is, like, bleeding on the cheek.”

Other footage shows Brian Fitzgerald talking to a parent and telling them that he’s a substitute bus driver and he was trying to get the kids to obey him. “I was coming to a stop and I hit the brakes hard because they weren’t, they were not listening. So, I’m sorry if she got hurt,” Fitzgerald explained.

Fitzgerald is now due in court on May 12 to answer 29 counts of child abuse with no injury and one count of child abuse with bodily injuries. It’s unclear how he plans to plea.

In the meantime, he’s written a note of apology to the school district, ABC News reports.

“I am sincerely sorry for my choice of actions today in my efforts of training students,” he wrote. “I am still 100 % responsible for my actions in trying to both educate and control students on the bus. Being a new driver, I did not make the best decision and if I were able to redo what I did I would rethink my decisions.”

Unsurprisingly, Brian Fitzgerald is no longer employed as a bus driver.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill