Bus Driver Tapes Special Needs Child's Mouth Shut & Isn't Even Embarrassed

school busFormer bus driver Marjorie Jones got lucky. She won't be going to jail for duct-taping the mouth of a 7-year-old girl with special needs. But even losing her job and facing community service and probation doesn't seem to have convinced the 63-year-old that she did something wrong.

Jones was convicted of child endangerment for her mistreatment of little Angelina Kio, a girl who can't speak and whose cognitive abilities are equal to that of a toddler. But when she stood in front of a judge facing a possible year in jail for the act, the woman who used to drive a bus full of children was still claiming it was all in good fun.

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Her exact word? "Playful." Jones thought putting duct tape on the mouth of a child with special needs was "playful." Anyone else wonder if Jones would be thinking it was "playful" if the judge had chosen duct-taping her mouth as part of the sentence? It kind of makes her "I am sorry for what I did" sound like a non-apology, doesn't it?

Sadly, I came at this sordid story looking for an out for this woman. I didn't want to believe that someone would actually do something so cruel to another person, much less to a child with special needs. 

I know it can't be easy driving a school bus, what with all those kids screaming in the background and a bunch of idiot drivers out there on the road. And Jones works for the Corinth Central School District in upstate New York, where wintertime driving can be especially frustrating. As a parent who happens to live in upstate New York, I know a good bus driver is worth as much as a good babysitter -- they're like gold.

But Jones' lack of remorse is appalling -- almost as appalling as the act that landed her in court to begin with. This wasn't a horrible mistake made in the heat of the moment by a frazzled bus driver. Her inability to use nearly two years of time to think it through, to take the criticisms to heart, proves that.

So I'm going to say it again. Marjorie Jones to lucky. She's got three years of probation and 100 hours of community service ahead of her. But with her refusal to admit duct taping a defenseless person's (honestly, Angelina could have been 27 or 47 and it still would have been wrong) mouth shut isn't PLAYFUL should have gotten her a lot more.

What kind of punishment do you think would be more appropriate here?

 

Image via wheany/Flickr

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