Bus driver talks about assault of special needs student
Tue, 29 May 2012 21:54:53 GMT —
Yvonne Mack Colclough, the school bus driver who reported two teachers' aides for assaulting a 10-year-old special needs student in Darlington County, is talking publicly for the first time about how the situation has impacted her.
"I'll lay down my job for my kids on that bus," said Colclough, who's been driving a school bus for the Darlington County School District for 14 years.
She says she wasn't even thinking about her job when she alerted her employers that they needed to watch the surveillance video from her bus.
The video shows employees Tomeko Self and Rosanna Dudley hitting a 10-year-old special needs student on Colclough's bus at Saint John's Elementary on April 23.
Darlington police arrested the employees after an investigation and charged them with simple assault and battery.
Colclough says she feels as if her employers have turned on her because she came forward. Colclough says they even asked her to stay quiet and away from the media.
"I have not got a thanks from the principal or anything. They've been so ugly toward me to it doesn't make any sense. It looks like they would rather protect the teachers than the kid and that kid can't defend himself. I'm the only mouthpiece on that bus," she said.
The Darlington County School District Public Information Officer, Audrey Childers, says it is district practice for all media requests to funnel through the Darlington County School District Office of Communications. She says this is done not only to ensure the facts are provided and the person most knowledgeable about any particular story is addressing the media, but also to protect the district's employees.
Childers said Colclough was advised not to talk to the media because the case was an ongoing investigation and a legal matter.
Colclough says she has had to take medical leave because of health problems following the incident.
"I couldn't handle driving my bus. I know, I just couldn't handle right now driving that big bus. I can't sleep. Still not sleeping, but the doctor gave me pills to make me rest," said Colclough.
Colclough says she won't rest until the case is tried.
"I won't rest until justice has been served that's when I'll get closure."
The Darlington Muncipal Clerk of Court says the case was scheduled to be tried May 9, but the judge removed himself because he knew one of the suspects. Court officials say the case has been reassigned to magistrate judge, and they're in the process of rescheduling the trial.