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      Judge removes himself from special needs student assault case

      The judge who was scheduled to preside over a court hearing Wednesday for two Darlington County School District employees accused of hitting a 10-year-old special needs student has removed himself from the case, according to Darlington Municipal Court officials.

      Rosanna Dudley and Tomeko Self were scheduled to be in court on charges of simple assault and battery.

      Municipal Judge Dan Causey says he knows Dudley and felt it best for another judge to preside over the case.

      Officials say Magistrate Beatrice Curtis will hear the case, but a new court date has not been set.

      School bus surveillance video was released last week showing Self, a teacher's aide, and Dudley, a behavioral manager at St. John's Elementary, hitting the student.

      The women are seen yelling at him to hush as they try to put on his safety harness.

      The child's mother signed a release saying her son's face could be shown in the video, but we have blurred the faces of the other students on the bus.

      The boy is not able to communicate verbally.

      The employees are on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.