Peoria school aide arrested, accused of hitting non-verbal child with autism staff
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PEORIA, AZ — A school aide has been arrested and accused of child abuse involving a non-verbal child with autism.

According to court documents, on March 9, 70-year-old Ellen Padgett, an aide with the Peoria Unified School District, was seen by a school bus driver hitting a student multiple times while on the bus.

Documents state that after all of the students were dropped off at their residences, the bus driver reported the incident to her supervisor. From there, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) was contacted.

DPS is the agency that needs to be notified if the passenger of a school bus is harmed or threatened.

Authorities reviewed a video recording of the incident from the bus. The video reportedly showed the victim sitting on the driver’s side of the bus with Padgett behind him. Documents state that after some time of interactions between the two, Padgett begins to hit the victim four times with an open palm on the back of his head.

DPS contacted the parents of the child who then requested charges be filed against Padgett.

She was arrested on Thursday and booked into the Maricopa County Jail and is facing charges of child abuse. She has since been released from custody. Her next court date is expected to be on April 5th.

The Peoria Unified School District provided the following statement to ABC15 regarding the incident:

“Upon learning of this incident, we promptly placed the employee on leave, reported the matter to the Department of Child Services and the police, and are fully cooperating with their investigation. The employee is no longer with the school district and was terminated on March 14. In our schools and on our buses, safety remains our number one priority.

Aides go through the same application, fingerprint clearance/background check process as every other employee in the district.”

For parents with students with disabilities who want to understand their rights, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is attached below.

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Peoria News , 2024-03-22 22:20:26

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