The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 9, 2012

UPDATE: School bus driver assault hearing canceled


The Free Press

BLUE EARTH — An arraignment hearing has been canceled for a 72-year-old Blue Earth school bus driver who is facing a misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly slapping a 6-year-old boy on a bus.

Jane Elizabeth Brooks was charged with fifth-degree assault for the Sept. 14 incident on a Blue Earth Area Schools bus. Her arraignment scheduled for Tuesday morning was canceled and a pre-trial hearing was scheduled for Oct. 15.

According to Faribault County court documents:

Video from the bus shows Brooks was driving on her afternoon route when the boy began striking a smaller child on the head, causing the child to cry.

Brooks stopped the bus and asked the 6-year-old to move to a seat right behind the driver. The boy refused and resisted Brooks’ efforts to move him.

Once moved, the boy began kicking other riders, and Brooks again stopped the bus and asked some older riders to sit with him.

The boy then spat on children nearby. Brooks told him to cease and the boy spit again, at which point she slapped his face.

When one of the other riders told Brooks she didn’t need to slap the boy, Brooks allegedly responded, “Well, maybe that’s what he needed.”