A Letter to My Dog, Half Pint

This last year may have been the worst one of my life, but at least I've got the world's two greatest dogs by my side to help me stagger into 2018. Today's post features a letter to Half Pint. Benjamin will be getting a letter later this week--he'd never let me hear the end of it, otherwise. Also, this posts features a lot of short video clips of Half Pint being silly. Since I apparently can't do anything right these days, they are exclusively shot in vertical mode. Please accept my apologies (and cut me some friggin' slack).

Weird Crime: Giving a kid the boot

Hillsborough County, Florida

On September 28 of 2012, 40-year-old school bus driver Stephanie Wilkerson was finishing her morning route dropping off special needs children to Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary. When she pulled up to the school at approximately 7:40 AM, an 8-year old girl with autism demanded to be let off the bus before it was her turn.

When Wilkerson refused to let her cut the line, the little girl slapped her.

"No! I want to get to class first!"

As a teacher, I can relate and sympathize with a situation like that (and look back on it with hysterical laughter instead of rage). But you have to keep in mind that these are kids with a disability that you're there to help instead of  reacting with the same emotional or physical aggression that they might display. This goes for all employees at a school, including the bus drivers.

Unfortunately, Stephanie's "Crap I will take from disabled kids who don't know any better" limit got tested one time too many. As the girl was getting off the bus, another verbal confrontation ensued between the two.

Once again, this is one of those moments when as an adult and a public school employee, you have to realize that you are dealing with a small child and a person with a mental disability...and to not engage in the same behavior that they are demonstrating towards you.

Stephanie, however, decided instead decided to escalate things a bit by literally kicking the girl off the bus, causing to her fall and fracture her ankle.

Embedded below is a local news report on the matter, complete with expert analysis on the incident by the one of the school's music teachers (who looks like an alternate universe version of Kevin Federline).

The news report also goes on to state that a video of the incident does exist, but the school district is being a giant party pooper and refusing to release it.

Speaking of not being released, Stephanie Wilkinson was arrested yesterday on a charge of aggravated child abuse. She is currently being held without bail.

...or the benefit of the doubt, which flies out
the window once you break an 8-year old's ankle.

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am more personally, I can also be found on Twitter.  

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