(CBS News) — Disturbing video of a school bus driver appear to verbally and physically abuse a girl with autism as she wails has been released by the girl’s parents and lawyers. Kim Klopson, 64, of Vacaville, California, is now facing criminal child abuse charges, CBS Sacramento reports.
The incident happened in February. As seen on footage from two surveillance cameras on the bus, when the 8-year-old girl did not want to leave the bus, Klopson appears to confronts her and tries to pull her from the seat. The video shows she then pulls the girl from the hood of her sweatshirt and throws her on the ground, before closing the door of the bus and letting her fall down the steps.
It appears all of the other children exited the bus when Klopson pulled up to Browns Valley Elementary. A teacher’s aide had come to walk the girl off the bus, but Klopson closed the door and allegedly began taunting the child. The teacher’s aide appears to walk away.
For almost four more minutes, the driver is alone with the girl, allegedly yanking her up and back down, ripping off her jacket, and eventually dragging her off the bus. The aide finally came back to get the girl off the bus.
“It’s bone-chilling,” said Micha Star Liberty, who is representing the family in its plan to sue the Vacaville School District. “What you’re seeing is horrific and abuse by an adult bus driver.”
The district says it fired the driver right away, and she has pleaded not guilty to a child abuse charge.
“Every bus driver has an annual evaluation that includes a ride along with a supervisor. Klopson had hundreds of hours of professional development training, including special education training,” a district spokeswoman tells CBS Sacramento.
“The district needs to not just train its employees but make sure that training is effective,” said Liberty.
CBS Sacramento tried speaking to Klopson about this story, but she has not yet responded. She’s due back in court in July.