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Bus driver charged with assaulting autistic 8-year-old in Cumberland County

Posted May 11

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— A Hope Mills woman was arrested Tuesday in connection with the March assault of an 8-year-old autistic child.

A warrant said Elizabeth Derrick, 48, of the 5800 block of Paragon Point, was on duty as a bus driver for Cumberland County Schools on March 3 when she became irritated with the 8-year-old, who had been diagnosed with autism and doesn’t speak.

Derrick stopped the bus and walked over to the child, who was buckled in, and grabbed the child’s inner thigh, resulting in multiple bruises, the warrant said. She then unbuckled the child, grabbed the child by the bicep, and dragged the child to the back of the bus.

The warrant said Derrick also yelled at the 8-year-old, upsetting that child and other students on the “exceptional children” bus that transports children with special needs to and from school.

Derrick was charged with assault on a handicapped person.

She was released under $5,000 unsecured bond Wednesday afternoon.

Cumberland County school officials said Derrick resigned from her position sometime in March.

7 Comments

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  • Steve Faulkner May 12, 1:43 p.m.
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    If this happened in March, why are charges being filed in May??

  • Amanda Townsend May 12, 12:11 p.m.
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    Are you kidding? Walk a mile in her shoes? You should never lay a hand on a child who is not your child. My opinion is you shouldn't lay a hand on any child, period, but I know that is very controversial. A child who is non-verbal cannot voice his or her discomfort, frustration, illness, etc. She should not be in such a job if she cannot handle it. Walk a mile in the child's shoes or the shoes of the other children on that bus. They were likely terrified. Walk a mile in the shoes of those parents. This bus driver has these kids in her car for a very short period of time, and the parents have the care of these kids all the time. I cannot believe anyone could make an excuse for a woman who clearly has no business around children. Assault is assault. Children count too.

  • Susan Mencer May 12, 9:31 a.m.
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    I think she quit before they could fire her. ANd to the person that said, "walk a mile in her shoes"..glad it wasn't your child, right?

  • Susan Harward May 12, 9:11 a.m.
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    "Walk a mile in her shoes"... that should be the other way around. Try walking a mile in his shoes.

  • Chris Cole May 12, 8:50 a.m.
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    Yeah, it is a very demanding job, but she knew that from the beginning so that's not an excuse.

  • James Barefoot May 12, 6:51 a.m.
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    Walk a mile in her Shoes. “exceptional children” A PC term.. A very demanding job to work with these children

  • Sara Hauser May 11, 7:23 p.m.
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    Hope they fire her sorry self. No child should be treated like that and to hurt a child who cannot even speak is deplorable.