Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 13, 2024
Pittsburgh Mother Demands Action After Nonverbal Autistic Daughter Attacked on School VanSource: Google Street View

In a disturbing incident reported earlier this week, a 10-year-old nonverbal autistic girl was viciously attacked by another student while traveling on a school van operated by Krise Transportation. Shareena Johnson, the mother of the victim, disclosed to KDKA-TV that her daughter, Zamaira, was left with severe bite marks and bruises after the assault. Johnson was informed of the attack upon the van's arrival at Pittsburgh Conroy Education Center on Monday and was advised to take her daughter to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of her injuries.

According to Johnson, the response to the attack from both Krise Transportation and Pittsburgh Public Schools has been lacking in clarity and accountability. Johnson told WTAE, "None of the students on that bus were verbal. They could not tell anyone what happened on that bus. I mean, it's really anyone's guess as to what happened, when it happened, how long it happened. I just saw the result of what happened,"  Conflicting reports about the availability of a video recording of the incident have only added to the confusion, with the transport company initially indicating that footage existed, but Pittsburgh Public Schools later revealing that there was no video due to the van being new.

The aftermath of the attack and the lack of evidence to clearly detail the events that transpired have led to Krise Transportation being removed from its role in transporting students to and from the Pittsburgh Conroy Education Center. This move was confirmed by Pittsburgh Public Schools when pressed by KDKA-TV for further comments on the matter. In her statements, Johnson has called for the driver to "take accountability" and for the transportation protocols to be revised to ensure the safety of all children.

Echoing the concerns voiced by Johnson, many are now questioning the safety measures in place for the transportation of vulnerable children within the school system. "I want the driver to take accountability. I want them to change their protocol to one that actually keeps children safe," Johnson implored in her interview with KDKA-TV. As the investigation continues, Krise Transportation has not released a statement regarding the incident, and their representative reportedly terminated a phone call with KDKA-TV journalists seeking comment.