Teachers' aides fined for assaulting special needs boy

Rosanna Dudley and Tomeka Self

Rosanna Dudley and Tomeka Self pleaded guilty to simple assault and battery in a Darlington courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

Judge Deatrice Curtis fined both women $268. The maximum sentence they faced was 30 days in jail or a $268 fine.

In April, the women were caught on school bus surveillance video slapping and hitting Marvin, 10-year-old special needs student, on a school bus from Saint John's Elementary in Darlington as they tried to put a safety harness on him.

Marvin's mother, Rachel Whatley, says she's outraged that the women weren't given jail time, and she feels there was no justice for her son.

"It should be something more done in my opinion. Had I done this to my own child, I would be facing a felony charge, and I don't think it's fair that they're allowed to, in my eyes, skate under the law. I'm outraged, but once again I kind of felt that this was going to happen from the beginning, " said Whatley.

Marvin was in the courtroom, but left during the hearing. Whatley said her son is still having a hard time because of what happened and can't take seeing the women.

"My son still can't stand to be in the room with them as we witnessed in court today. He doesn't want to be in their presence," she said.

Judge Curtis scolded Dudley and Self for their actions and said children should be protected when they're in school. She took into consideration neither had a criminal record when determining their punishment.

Investigators with the Darlington Police Department said they consulted with the SC Attorney General's Office on this case. Investigators said they were advised that Simple Assault and Battery, which is a misdemeanor, was the appropriate charge because the boy wasn't injured and the assault was done with open hands.

Dudley and Self didn't say anything during the hearing, but their attorney said the women were sorry for their actions.

Whatley said she will press forward in finding justice for her son.

"Me being the mother that I am, the fight isn't over. I'm not stopping here. I will make sure that I go further with this."

Self and Dudley no longer work for the Darlington County School District. Officials aren't saying if they resigned, retired, or were terminated.

Dudley worked for the district for nearly 28 years and Self for 6 years.