Bus Monitor Charged With Child Abuse. She Fights Back When Student Punches, Kicks, Calls Her “N” Word… All Caught On Camera…
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Palm Beach County School District Police department arrested School Bus Monitor Denise Thomas and charged her with child abuse. Video recorded by the school bus surveillance system allegedly shows an out-of-control student punching and kicking Thomas, then calling her the “N” word.
The bus was en route to Banyan Creek Elementary, in West Boynton Beach, when the drama unfolded Monday morning.
But the police report raises questions about what a bus monitor is allowed to do to protect other students — and herself — from an out-of-control child. Whether Thomas was legitimately fighting back to protect herself and other children, or actually assaulting a physically violent fifth-grader, will now be up to prosecutors, a judge and potentially a jury.
We are publishing the narrative of the arrest report. Some of it is difficult to read, but context for this type of arrest, we believe, is important.
On 11/4/2021, I observed on video surveillance of a 5th-grade student kicking and punching the bus window,
as he stated in his statement. As the video continued, at approximately 07:22:21, the bus attendant Denise Thomas stands up and heads back towards and tells him to “cut it out.” At 07:22:41, Denise yells, “I said cut it out, grabbing (the student) by the neck area of his shirt and sweater, jerking him up out of his seat then proceeds to throw him into the window base. She continues to yell at (the student), then proceeds to grab him again by what appears to be the middle of the shirt and sweater, screaming, “get up, get up,” shaking his back and forth. At this point, (the student) kicks her in the stomach area while Denise continues the attack on him.
She then stands over (the student), still gripping his shirt, and takes her forearm and places it on the side of (the student’s) neck and lower check, pinning him face upwards between the two seats in the middle aisle. She repeatedly yells, “Don’t put your hands on me, boy, don’t touch me, boy,” before releasing the student who yells, stops, and then punches Denise several times, causing her to grab him again by the shirt.
While being held by his shirt, (the student) throws one more punch at Denise then she forces him down to the floor between the seat, holding him there for a second. At 07:23:24, the bus driver attempts to intervene as (the child)
yells. “child abuse, child abuse, f-ing (n word) f-ing (n-word), I’m gonna tell my mom.” The student throws another punch at Denise, and Denise follows up by shoving him back towards the window. At this point, the altercation ended between the two individuals. As the video continues, the two appear to be talking, but what is said is unclear.
At 07:25:34, it appears Denise attempts to fix (the student’s) shirt, but turns down the help. At 7:27:18, Denise finally sits back down in one seat in front of (the student). At 07:30:15, the bus driver stops at one of the stops and heads back to talk to (the student).
Based on the comment from the video footage, it appears Denise states, “Keep; going, Mr. Willie, I beat his ass.” He then heads back to the driver’s seat and continues on his routes. At 07:33:51, Denise leans back towards sitting in the chair directly across from him. On the video it can be heard that the bus driver stated, “Denise, just leave him alone,” as she sits down.
At 07:50:44, the bus arrives at the school, and the students begin to exit. As walks through the aisle, Denise stops him, and it appears she zips his jacket up to cover his torn shirt and lacerations. Words are exchanged and she fist pumps him. The bus driver exits the bus and speaks with the school staff as Denise watches through the window. They both leave the property without further incident.
It may be noted that upon arrival to school, he was evaluated by the school nurse and the following observations were made. Lacerations on the right collarbone, an approximately 4mm in width and 3 in length. A second laceration mark continued from the right side of the neck, hitting the back of the neck and ending on the left side of the neck. The severe laceration mark on the right side of neck is approximately 3.5in length. These measurements were taken and recorded by School Nurse Racheal DosSantos. These laceration marks on (the student’s) neck are consistent with the video evidence provided showing Denise Thomas grabbed the student with her hands around the chest and neck area. In addition, his shirt was covered in blood with the collar area ripped to shreds.
Denise Thomas, of Delray Beach, was arrested and charged with “cruelty towards child, abuse child without great bodily harm.” She was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail Monday morning, and released several hours later on $3,000 bond.
LOCAL JOURNALISM SUPPORTER.
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