GENESEE COUNTY, MI – A bus driver has resigned and faces two criminal charges after allegedly slamming a student’s head repeatedly into a window.
The alleged assault took place on a Genesee County school bus Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Thomas L. Norton, 61, of Thetford Township, was arraigned Feb. 9 on single counts of third-degree vulnerable adult abuse and assault and battery.
The incident took place around 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 on a Genesee Intermediate School District bus transporting students who attend the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said it involved an adult student on the bus.
“For whatever reason, Thomas Norton lost his cool,” Swanson said.
A video captured by a person on the bus shows the adult student’s head being pushed against the window by Norton multiple times.
“Stop it,” Norton says repeatedly.
“The adult (student) has some challenges … (and) wasn’t able to respond and because of that … the GISD brought it to our attention the next day when they found out…. (We) immediately made contact with the individual’s families,” said Swanson.
He noted that none of the student’s actions should have elevated the situation to an assault.
“… You know that students can push your buttons, but you have to have a good temperament, you have to have some good discernment of what you can do and what you can’t do,” Swanson said. “Physically touching, harming, assaulting a student is off-limits.”
Steve Tunnicliff, assistant superintendent for the Genesee Intermediate School District, told MLive-The Flint Journal the driver and aide were placed on administrative leave. They have both since resigned from their positions, he confirmed.