Bus aide accused of assaulting Pittsburgh 6-year-old with autism

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh mom tells Channel 11 she won’t stop fighting for justice for her 6-year-old son.

Elizabeth Kamppi says her son, who has autism, was assaulted by an aide while on a school van. According to the District Attorney’s office, the DA is reviewing the case to determine if they will file charges.

“I don’t understand why this happened and why it was my child,” Kamppi said.

Six-year-old Oliver Dudas came home from Keystone Oaks Elementary School and complained to his mom that he had a bully.

It wasn’t until days later, that his mom found out the aid on her son’s school van was allegedly hurting him.

“He should be protected on that van at all times, and he wasn’t. So I feel like a failure that I couldn’t be there to make sure he was safe every day,” Kamppi said.

That abuse, according to Keystone Oaks school officials, was caught on the van’s surveillance video system.

The aide was an employee with Matthews Bus Company, not the school.

Channel 11 has not seen the video, but Oliver’s mom and stepdad said they watched it at the school.

“It’s just sick watching a video where someone thinks it’s OK to put their hands on a 6-year-old, let alone a special needs child,” the child’s stepfather, Cale Grimm told Channel 11.

The district’s superintendent sent out a note to parents saying in part, “after reviewing the video, administration immediately filed a ChildLine report, and reported the incident to Allegheny County Police, and worked to have the aid removed from servicing the school.”

However, the aide still isn’t facing criminal charges, which is why Channel 11 has chosen not to identify her.

A spokesperson with the district attorney’s office told Channel 11 they are still reviewing the case.

“If it all gets dropped, and it all gets washed away, what’s next? Who is the next child that’s going to fall victim to this behavior,” Kamppi said.

Kamppi told Channel 11, she won’t stop fighting until she gets justice for her son.

“We need to protect our kids, and we can’t protect them if we don’t have a legal system that holds people accountable for their actions toward children,” she said.

Late afternoon Wednesday, a spokesperson for Matthews bus company told Channel 11 that the aid no longer works for the company pending the outcome of an investigation.

They also said the aid did not have any prior reports of harming a student.

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