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2020 Child Injury

Child Injured When Mesa Bus Driver Deliberately Slams on Brakes

Two Mesa elementary school students were physically and emotionally abused last week when their bus driver deliberately slammed on the brakes and yelled obscenities at them. No other children were present, but the bus surveillance camera caught the whole incident on tape.

The driver slammed on the brakes when one child was standing up, causing the child to fly forward and hit his head on the windshield. The child was left with injuries to his head and hip. The driver then threatened the other child with violence and picked up the injured child by his backpack and shoved him back into a seat.

The school district immediately placed the driver on administrative leave and notified police, who then charged the driver with felony child abuse.

Across the nation, more than 4 million referrals are made to child protection agencies every year. A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds according to While the highest percentage of abuse cases involve neglect, the next highest is physical abuse.

According to CASA of Arizona, the Child Abuse Hotline received more than 24,000 calls across the state between October 2017 and March 2018. The most common type of child abuse in Arizona is neglect, at 84.3%, while physical abuse comes in at 13.3%. There were 136 child deaths in the state in 2017 involving drugs and alcohol. Seventy-nine children died because of maltreatment.

There are many different types of child abuse, including but not limited to emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Children can be abused by parents and other family members, friends, school employees, daycare workers, church clergy, and while less common, also strangers.

There are many different warning signs of child abuse. Many physical signs are easier to identify, and include bruises, bleeding, welts, burns, scars, and broken bones. Children who are emotionally and sexually abused might not show outward physical signs. Children who are abused often show signs of withdrawing from friends and teachers and also show signs of depression. They might be afraid to go home (or to school depending on where the abuse is taking place). They can seem to be on high alert and want to avoid any kind of touch or physical contact.