SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Meredith) -- The video is hard to watch. What appears to be former Alpine School District bus driver Gary Bertagnole yelling and getting physical with a 16-year-old autistic student.
The lawyer representing the family, Aaron Kinikini, says this wasn’t the only time this happened.
"A grown man shouldn`t beat a child on a school bus.,” Kinikini said. “The bigger system issues are why did this bus driver have zero training about how to deal with 'A' people with disabilities and 'B' this specific child."
The bus drvier was fired shortly after this, Kinikini says. Then the Saratoga Springs City Police Department was called in. No criminal charges were brought against the former bus driver.
The teen in the video is austistic, blind and non-verbal, so Kinikini says she needs special attention.
"Families with children that have really complicated needs rely on the systems that are in place, the special Ed systems, they are kind of hesitant to put that in jeopardy," Kinikini said.
And while Kinikini says the family doesn’t want to make waves, they do want accountability.
"The system that is in place to protect these vulnerable children needs to be reassessed from the top down,” Kinikini said.
In 2018, the Disability Law Center filed administrative complaints with the Utah State Board of Education.
Kinikini says the department found no violations. Now, the law firm has filed a civil rights complaint lawsuit against several parties including the Alpine School District and Utah State Board of Education so every child riding on a school bus can feel safe.