POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County school bus aide was arrested Tuesday after authorities said she grabbed a student by the collar and forced them into another seat.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, 70-year-old Christine Barnes, of Lake Wales, was arrested after a Polk County Sheriff’s Office investigation found that she grabbed a 7-year-old student and forced them into another seat while working aboard a Polk County Public School bus.
Deputies said the investigation began after the victim’s mother filed a complaint on Friday.
The incident happened earlier that day on an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) bus that was parked at Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School in Frostproof.
According to arrest documents, Barnes “grabbed [the victim] by the front of his jacket near his throat, lifting him off the seat, causing [the victim’s] head to snap backward.”
Barnes then, “forcefully put [the victim] into an open seat on the other side of the aisle.”
During an interview, authorities said Barnes admitted to losing her temper with boy. She said she felt her actions were harsh and added she was feeling overwhelmed.
“Fortunately, the little boy only received a small scratch on his cheek from this incident. If you’re a school bus aide, your job is to keep children safe on the bus,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.” You’re also in a position of being a role model—losing your temper with a child is not setting a good example.”