ARREST: Banyan Creek Elementary School Bus Monitor Charged With Child Abuse
Boynton Beach School Bus Monitor Arrested For Child Abuse After Altercation With Unruly Student
By: BocaPost.com Staff | The Boca Post (BocaPost.com)
BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaPost.com) (Copyright © 2021 The Boca Post) — Denise Thomas, a School Bus Monitor for the Palm Beach County School District, was arrested by the Palm Beach County School District Police Department for child abuse on Monday (11/8/21) following the review of a video which documented a violent altercation between her and an unruly student.
The on-board CCTV system recorded the entire incident where an unruly student is seen attacking Thomas and even calling her ‘The N Word’ while the bus was traveling to Banyan Creek Elementary in Western Boynton Beach.
According to the police report, the video shows the whole incident starting off when a 5th grader is observed kicking and punching the bus window. It is reported that Denise Thomas, the bus monitor, stands up and then makes her way to the unruly student. Thomas tells the student to “cut it out”. A few seconds later she is heard saying “I said cut it out” and reportedly grabbed the student by the neck area of his shirt, picking him up out of his seat and then throwing him towards the window as she continues to yell at him. She then picks him up again and yells “get up, get up” shaking him back and forth.
According to the report, the video shows the student kicking her in the stomach area during this attack. Thomas is then observed pinning the student between two seats by forcing her forearm against his neck / lower cheek area as she was yelling ““Don’t put your hands on me, boy, don’t touch me, boy,”. She then lets go of the student who is then observed punching her several times. Thomas then grabs him by his shirt again. The student still throws one more punch.
At this time, the bus driver attempted to help Thomas as the child is screaming “child abuse, child abuse, f-ing (n word) f-ing (n-word), I’m gonna tell my mom.” The student is able to throw another punch at Thomas. Thomas then shoves the student back again towards the window. The altercation seemed to have ended at this time.
Thomas attempts to help the student with his shirt but he refused to let her help him. The bus driver is observed stopping at one of the bus stops and speaking to the student. Thomas tells the bus driver to “Keep; going, Mr. Willie, I beat his ass.”. The driver then heads back to his seat and continues on with the route. Some time later the bus driver is heard saying “Denise, just leave him alone,” and she is then seen sitting down.
When the bus arrived at the school, Thomas stops the student, zips up his jacket, exchanged some words, and then ‘fist pumps’ him. The bus driver is observed exiting the bus and speaking with school staff as Thomas watches from the bus. Both the bus driver and Thomas leave the property.
The school nurse evaluated the student and observed lacerations on his collarbone, right side of his neck, and the left side of his neck. Rachael DosSantos, the school nurse, measured all of the apparent injuries. The police report notes that the injuries observed on the student were consistent with what was seen on the video. The student’s shirt was covered in blood and his collar was ripped.
Denise Thomas was later arrested and charged with “CRUELTY TOWARD CHILD – ABUSE CHILD WITHOUT GREAT BODILY HARM” 827.03 2C (FT). This is a third degree felony charge. The Florida state statute for this charge is follows:
(c) A person who knowingly or willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.