A school bus driver in Colorado has been fired after he slapped a 10-year-old girl for refusing to wear a face mask.
Bertram Jaquez was driving children on April 12 in Fremont County, Colorado, when a young girl refused to wear a face mask.
A written statement from the girl alleged that she told her classmates that she was not going to wear a face mask because it made her sick.
The girl said in her note that people kept telling her to put her mask on, and that she shouted at them and said to shut up and that they weren’t involved in this.
The video of the scene shows the bus driver then striking her across the face.
Bertram Jaquez, in a written statement acquired by KKTV, said that he was attempting to explain to the child why she needed to wear a mask and that she simply wouldn’t listen, shouting at him and the other girls, and he wrote that out of reaction, he hit the child once.
The girl then put her mask on and ran out of the bus once it reached its stop. Bertram Jaquez was fired two days later, on April 14.
A school district spokesperson said an internal investigation determined that his actions warranted termination of employment.
The spokesperson said that their school community is experiencing a pretty unfortunate situation, and the spokesperson said that they’ve had a bus driver hit a child over the child not wearing a mask on the bus, and they believe that it’s never okay to lay a hand on a child.
The spokesperson said that they’re extremely disheartened by the incident, but that their goal every day is to transport students safely to school and back home, but that can only happen when everyone, including students and staff, follows the rules.
The spokesperson said that they’re currently working to identify the next step to help their operators with strategies designed to support a safe ride to and from school.
Face masks in schools have become a flashpoint for communities across the country, in addition to the broader issue of homeschooling.
Virtually all students have had remote learning at some point over the past year, but various states have taken dramatically divergent approaches to reopen classrooms.
Parents have been constantly urging schools to reopen, given the challenges of juggling work with homeschooling, and the mental health impact for their children of being isolated, and people are saying that if it had been their child, they’d have pressed assault charges.
And why did it take two days to fire a bus driver for hitting a ten-year-old girl across the face? And why has he not been arrested yet?
However, it appears that we’ve become such a hysterical society due to the perpetual fear-mongering about masks, encouraged by the media, and it seems that we’re not that fundamentally different from the people who used to accuse others of witchcraft only a few centuries ago.
Of course, now, masks and vaccines are dividing more and more into ‘us’ and ‘them’, and now it appears that children are being taught that it’s okay to bully over this matter, and this is what the pandemic has produced.
Perhaps the bus driver would have been better off with a different approach to this rebellious child. Maybe he should have simply stopped the bus and refused to continue until compliance was met.