Denver 3-year-old reportedly tied to bus seat with ropes, belts

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DENVER — The Denver Police Department is looking into claims that a 3-year-old autistic child was tied to his seat on a school bus.

The child attends Garden Palace Academy’s preschool program.   Students on the bus wear special harnesses to keep them in their seats safely. The child was reportedly tied to his seat with ropes and belts after learning to unbuckle his harness.

Denver Public Schools said in a statement it looked into the accusation.

“On Friday, January 16, a DPS employee reported to DPS Transportation Department staff that a bus driver was using an unapproved seatbelt-like device to keep a student in their safety seat, which is similar to a child’s car seat,” the statement said. “DPS has strict policies regarding safe student transportation, including appropriate restraints, and any violation of these policies would be a cause for concern.  An investigation was initiated on Friday, January 16 at which time the bus driver was placed on administrative leave. The driver could face discipline, up to and including termination.”

There is no word on what, if any, criminal charges could be filed against the bus driver.