Parents Sue After ‘Screaming Bucket’ Placed On Boy With Autism
PEORIA, Ill. — The parents of a 7-year-old Stark County boy who had a “screaming bucket” placed over his head while he was riding the bus have sued the district, a former bus driver and an aide.
The 12-count suit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Peoria alleged “willful and wanton conduct’ by Stark County Community Unit School District #100, driver Alan Curry and bus aide Kathy Webster. Both Curry, who is also the chairman of the Stark County Board, and Webster have been since fired from their positions.
The boy and his parents aren’t named in the lawsuit. Instead, they are referred to as Doe Child or John and Jane Doe. However, the mother, Barbara Keske of Toulon, has repeatedly talked to local media about the situation regarding her son, Steven, whose disabilities include autism, one of the manifestations of which is screaming at inappropriate times, especially when frustrated.
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In the suit, the parents allege Webster and Curry placed “a 5-gallon bucket on DOE CHILD, over his head, torso, back, and arms, known by the other children as ‘Screaming Bucket.'” Previously at school board meetings, it was declared that the bucket was used in “an inappropriate attempt to address a behavior problem.”
The suit also alleges Webster would forcibly hold the boy down, causing bruises and that Curry didn’t stop her. The boy was later suspended, the suit said, when he tried to resist. It was then, both the suit and the boy’s mother have said, that the practice came to light.
The suit seeks more than $750,000 in damages.
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