A Colorado school bus driver has admitted he slapped a 10-year-old girl in a dispute over how she was wearing her face mask.
The incident occurred in April in Fremont County and was captured by surveillance cameras. The video, which was obtained by KKTV, shows the bus driver talking to the girl after she moved her mask below her nose. Several girls were arguing about masks and the driver came to the back of the bus and told her to put her mask on.
“I told him no, I get sick from mask[s],” the girl wrote in a statement to the school. She said the other kids told her again to put her mask on. “I yelled at them and said you shut up your (sic) not involved in this and the bus driver slapt (sic) me,” she wrote.
In a written statement to the school district, the bus driver, Jaquez Bertram Armand, admitted, “Out of reaction, I slapped her once.” The Fremont County School District released a statement, that said, in part: “We are very saddened by this incident. Our goal every day is to transport students safely to school and back home, but that can only happen when everyone, including students and staff, follows the rules.”
Jaquez was immediately placed on administrative leave and is no longer employed by the district. He is now facing charges including harassment, assault causing injury, and child abuse.