**Shocking Allegations: School Bus Driver Accused of Duct-Taping 10-Year-Old with Down Syndrome**
In a shocking case, a Pennsylvania school bus driver is accused of using duct tape to restrain a 10-year-old child with Down syndrome. The driver now faces charges for this heinous act, which has deeply concerned parents, school authorities, and the community alike.
Juliet Pratt, 54, the accused driver, was charged with unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child, and assault, following accusations that she duct-taped a child to his seat on her bus back in March. The incident took place in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, at Hillcrest Elementary School when Upper Darby Police Department was called to investigate the reports of the bus driver assaulting a student.
Authorities acquired video surveillance footage from the bus that showed Pratt applying duct tape around the child’s ankles and across his chest. However, the incident was even more distressing given that the child was already securely fastened within the district-supplied safety harness. District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer explained that the young boy was “already fully restrained in the vehicle’s harness” and was not acting out in any way to provoke such a response. The DA stated that if an accident had occurred, the child would not have been able to get free because of the tape.
Notably, Stollsteimer reported that this may not have been an isolated occurrence. It has been implied that this was not the first time Pratt had attempted to restrain the young boy, although she has not shared specific reasons for her actions. Pratt allegedly admitted to authorities that she had duct-taped the child at least once before. Stollsteimer expressed confusion regarding the driver’s thought process during the incident but emphasized the criminal nature of the act.
It is still unclear how authorities were first made aware of the alleged criminal actions by the bus driver. The Upper Darby School District is cooperating fully with authorities during their investigation and has confirmed that the accused individual is no longer driving buses.
**This Appalling Incident Sends a Warning to Parents and Schools**
This deeply troubling case is a stark reminder that parents and schools must remain vigilant in safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable children. The fact that a bus driver could engage in such a heinous act against a young child with special needs is beyond comprehension. It underscores the urgency to ensure that those entrusted with the care and transport of our children are held to the highest possible standards and that any criminal actions are met with swift justice.