Autistic child has head slammed into school bus window by bus monitor, Utica Police say

An argument on a Utica school bus led to an Autistic child getting his head slammed into a closed window by a bus monitor, according to police.

It happened Wednesday as the bus was stopped in the parking lot of Proctor High School.

The 11-year-old child told his mom he stood up to stretch his legs inside the bus, and was told by the bus monitor to sit down. Both the child and the bus monitor, Kendra Owens, 38, started to argue.

Owens walked to the front of the bus where the child was and punched and slapped him in the face before slamming his head into the window, according to Utica Police.

The child suffered scratches. The boy's mother reported the incident to police.

Police were able to obtain security footage from the Birnie Bus Service. The footage supported the child's claim and Owens was arrested.Some parents, especially those who have children with disabilities, say the charges highlight the need for more training for all people who work with disabled students.

"They don't really understand the type of kids they're working with," said Utica parent Gary Bowman. "It's easy to get a job working with any kind of kids but are you really equipped to work with these kids? Are you equipped to handle your anger?"

"It's just certain people working with certain kids. You have to have the patience and know exactly what you're doing and exactly what's going on with these kids," said parent Dorothy Sochia

Owens is charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. In a statement, Birnie Bus Service apologized to the student and said Kendra Owens has been fired.