School Bus Aide Accused of Abusing a Special Needs Child.

A picture of the front of a yellow school bus.
A school bus aide in Northern Michigan is accused of roughly shoving a special needs child

Child abuse is a subject that has received a great deal of public interest and media attention in recent years. And in some ways that’s a really good thing. Instances of child abuse are rising, and the number of children in foster care needing stable homes is staggering. So it’s definitely a subject that needs to be out in the open, being publicly discussed and properly handled. But it also means it’s a topic that invites deeply emotional responses, and can be very hard to maintain an objective outlook when addressing it.

Many factors influence how a situation is handled.

One of the factors that has a huge impact on how allegations of abuse are handled is circumstance. For example, let’s say a parent drives their children to the grocery store, but once they arrive one of the kids refuses to get out of the car. The parent tries coaxing them, perhaps promising candy, and then begging when that doesn’t work. 

Finally, frustrated and running out of time to complete all their errands, they get mad and grab the child by their arms, jerking them roughly out of the car. Is this the best way to deal with it? Nope, it isn’t. But it’s somewhat understandable that a tired and frustrated parent or caregiver might lose her cool when one of her kids is acting up. And it’s highly unlikely that this scenario would result in child abuse charges.

But that’s not the case when it’s a professional!

When the person getting mad at uncooperative children and jerking them around is a professional, it’s a whole different ball game. A current case from Northern Michigan involving a school bus aide is a classic example of this dichotomy, and how your role in the child’s life will impact how the case is handled.

Catherine Ryan is said to have grabbed the arms of 7-year-old Joselyn roughly on the bus, and jerked her to a standing position. Joselyn is a non-verbal child with disabilities, which makes the case even more emotionally charged. And although her parents have said that she’s fine after the incident, they’re still very angry.

The school bus aide is facing criminal charges!

Ryan has been charged with Fourth Degree Child Abuse, and Assault and Battery. Under Michigan law, Fourth Degree Child Abuse refers to someone knowingly or intentionally doing something that, under the circumstances, puts a child at risk of being harmed, even if nothing actually happens to that child.

Assault and Battery are technically two different crimes, where Battery requires contact with a victim and Assault doesn’t. In this case, battery means the forceful, violent, or offensive touching of a person, and assault refers to someone doing something illegal that causes the victim to reasonably fear an imminent battery.

Criminal charges are no joke, especially when a child is the victim.

Being accused of child abuse, and facing criminal charges because of those allegations, is very serious! You could be facing a lengthy legal battle, prison time, and the loss of your professional license, not to mention the damage to your reputation and your standing in the community. It’s a big deal, so make sure you get the right help!

At The Kronzek Firm, our skilled and aggressive child abuse defense attorneys have spent decades helping both parnts and professiaonls all over Michigan’s lower peninsula. We know how challenging these types of cases are, and what needs to be done to make sure your rights are protected. So call 866 766 5245 today and get help from top tier defense attorneys.