CLE bus driver accused of assaulting 8-year-old boy with special needs

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - A bus driver for Cleveland Metropolitan Schools is accused of assaulting a little 8-year-old boy with special needs.

Donella Durkin says her son got off the bus upset and crying; claiming the driver had hurt him.

“He said the bus driver hit me in my back, threw my book bag and threw me in my seat,” said Donella.

The incident allegedly occurred on August 28th during the afternoon ride home and started over a graham cracker.

Kei’Aug Durkin is diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome also known as a 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome caused by a defect in chromosome 22.

Donella says although Kei'Aug is 8, his development is that of a 4 or 5-year-old child; with anxiety, autistic symptoms and developmental delays.

Kei’Aug also has a documented bus phobia; which is why the usual driver allows him to have a snack on the bus.

But this day the driver apparently told him to stop eating the graham cracker and became angry when he refused.

In a district report obtained by Fox 8 News, the driver denies touching Kei’Aug and claims he “fell out of his seat and started crying.”

However multiple statements written by the other children on the bus who witnessed the matter told a different story.

They wrote that the driver "hit him in his back" and "threw his book bag."

One child said "she was cussing at him."

Donella has contacted and filed complaints with everyone from the principal to the head of transportation. She wants the driver punished but says so far she’s only been told that the driver will receive “special needs training.”

Fox 8 contacted the district and a spokesperson says they’re looking into the matter.