Bus driver kicked special needs child down the stairs, breaking her ankle, according to police

TAMPA - A bus driver was arrested after, police say, she kicked a special needs child as she was getting off the bus at elementary school.  The child fell down the stairs, and ended up with a broken ankle.

Hillsborough County school bus driver Stephanie Wilkerson was delivering special education kids to school on the morning of September 28 at Tampa Bay Elementary.  When the victim attempted to exit the bus, the driver told the 8-year-old to stop and wait her turn.

The young girl then slapped and pushed the driver.

After Wilkerson told the girl to exit, the victim stopped half-way down the steps.  The driver used her foot to push the child off the bus.

The girl fell to the ground and fractured her distal fibula.

Wilkerson, 40, was arrested by Tampa Police at the Hillsborough County Public Schools Transportation facility Thursday and taken to booking.

"I've read through the police report of Tampa Police," said Stephen Hegarty, HCPS spokesperson.  "It is completely unacceptable."

Police said cameras on board the bus were rolling and did capture the incident.  The police have yet to release that video.

The school district told ABC Action News they sent a letter to Wilkerson while she was at the jail stating she could lose her job and to not return to work.

School Board members will have to hold a hearing to determine whether to suspend Wilkerson with pay or fire her.

Wilkerson has been employed by the district since 2008.

Parents at the elementary school were frustrated by the arrest.

"It 's concerning," said Gladys Ortiz, whose son attends fourth grade at the school.  "The buses aren't safe anymore."

Ortize said if the allegations are true Wilkerson should be fired.

Print this article Back to Top