BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Concerned parents reached out to 8 On Your Side regarding issues with a bus aide within Hernando County School District.
“[He’s] taking two fingers and jabbing the kids in the ribs on the bus,” said Moton Elementary School parent Davina Occhipinti.
“My daughter, Cheyenne, said ‘Mom, he’s been putting his hands on us for months,'” said Moton Elementary School parent Angela Baker.
Several children are telling their parents the same story.
“LJ, he’d get off the bus screaming, crying saying, ‘Mom, he put his hands on somebody. He pushed somebody,'” said Baker.
She continued to quote her son saying, “‘I don’t want to go on there. He’s being mean to me. He yelled at me. He cussed at me.'”
A few weeks ago, Occhipinti began making some calls to find out what was going on.
She was told the district conducted an investigation and that the allegations were unfounded.
“So, when you saw that the bus aide was back on the bus, what message did that send to you as a parent?”, asked News Channel 8 reporter Nicole Rogers.
“It made me really upset,” Occhipinti said. “I feel like they’re not listening and taking our complaints seriously.”
When she found out the bus aide was back on the bus, she reached out to 8 On Your Side.
We requested the report from the investigation that concluded on Jan. 26.
Hernando County School District responded by saying, “The school district has received additional information regarding this matter and has reopened its investigation.”
Officials went on to say, “Therefore, at this time, no further comment will be provided.”
“If he’s putting his hands on them, they need to get rid of him,” Baker said.
“What do you want to happen now?” Rogers asked.
“For him to be fired,” Baker explained. “What’s going to happen if he really hurts these kids one day?”
“What’s your message to Hernando County School District?”, Rogers asked Occhipinti.
“You wouldn’t want your kids to be treated like this,” Occhipinti said. “Why is it okay for ours to be treated like this?”
“You’re supposed to keep our kids safe,” she continued. “Our kids aren’t supposed to be bullied.”
“You don’t let kids bully each other, why are you allowing an adult to do it to the kids?”, Occhipinti asked.
The district tells 8 On Your Side the investigation is currently ongoing.
Once the investigation is completed, the district will have 10 days before it has to release the report to News Channel 8.