METHUEN, MASS. (WHDH) - A bus driver and a bus monitor were both arrested this week on allegations of abuse against a child with autism.
The alleged abuse happened on a bus in Methuen. Now, the child’s father is speaking out.
“It’s messed up,” said Anthony Amero.
Amero told 7NEWS his 10-year-old son who has autism and is nonverbal was abused on the way to and from school.
According to a police report, the child’s bus monitor is behind the abuse while the bus driver is accused of letting it happen.
“Your worst fear when you have an autistic kid is him being bullied or hit and him not being able to tell anyone especially if they’re nonverbal,” Amero said. “For two grown adults to do it, it’s horrible.”
Anthony Amero II is a fifth-grade student at Nashoba Learning Group in Bedford. His father contacted the school when he noticed his son becoming skittish when it was time to ride the bus.
“He would get on and he would lean away from the bus monitor,” Amero said.
The Methuen Public Schools immediately started an investigation and got video from the bus company. Police said that video showed the bus monitor grabbing and twisting the boy’s arm, pinching, hitting his head, pulling his fingers and using derogatory words.
“For him, there was nobody to speak for him,” Amero said.
NRT Bus wrote to 7NEWS, saying “We have no tolerance for this alleged behavior and both employees have been terminated. We are fully cooperating with local authorities as this matter is being investigated.”
“You think he’s safe,” Amero said. “He’s going to school.”
The superintendent of the Methuen Public Schools sent a letter to parents Wednesday night saying “There is clearly no place for the abuse of children within our school district, and we will take all steps necessary to ensure that our students are protected.”
As for Amero, he’s speaking up to protect his son.
“Just trying to keep him safe, that’s it,” he said. “Just keep him safe, that’s all I got to do and he wasn’t.”
The bus monitor is charged with assault and battery of a disabled person.
The bus driver has also been charged with assault as well as permitting the abuse to happen.
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