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Bus monitor accused of striking special needs student

Rosa Kennerly, 66, charged with child abuse

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Rosa Kennerly
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Rosa Kennerly

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A bus monitor was arrested after police said she struck a special needs student on a school bus, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

Rosa Kennerly, 66, is charged with child abuse. 

According to the arrest report, Kennerly, who’s a bus monitor for Mount Herman Exceptional Student Center, was on the bus with the student and the driver on Dec. 7.

Police said the student, who has epilepsy and cerebral palsy, was in a wheelchair. They said he is prone to involuntary muscle spasms.

According to the report, as Kennerly walked past him, he kicked her. She kicked him back three times, and then slapped him in the head, police said.

The Sheriff's Office said it looked at the bus surveillance video, which caught the incident on tape.

When asked about it by police, Kennerly said “I just lost control,” the report states. She then contacted a lawyer. She was arrested Jan. 27, and was out of jail on bond as of Monday evening.