Mother Files Lawsuit Against Bedford County Schools - - ABC13

Mother Files Lawsuit Against Bedford County Schools

Tracey Ballagh Tracey Ballagh

Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Steven Smith

Bedford Co.,VA- The video showing a Bedford County bus aide hitting and kicking Thomas Kilpatrick, who has autism, horrified a lot of parents. Now another parent says she believes her son was abused by the same bus aide.

Thomas Kilpatrick, Timothy's father, filed a $20 million law suit against the Bedford County School System last year.

Tracey Ballagh says she did not know her son Joey was involved in this case because like Kilpatrick her son has special needs and cannot communicate on his own.

"As a parent, your fear is that someone is going to take advantage of your child, and they will never be able to tell you," said Ballagh.

Ballagh's worst fear came true when she saw the bus surveillance video on the news. She says her son Joey is on the bus next to the bus aide, the one hitting Timothy Kilpatrick with a flyswatter as he screams.

"To treat another human being like that is inconceivable. It's disgusting," said Ballagh.

After contacting an investigator, Ballagh viewed the entire tape, and says she saw Joey being abused as well.

"You can see him being slapped by the bus aide on the face. You can see pinched, elbowed, and swatted at with a flyswatter," said Ballagh.

Ballagh still feels that sense of helplessness when she thinks of what her son went through.

"You want to go, and save him off the bus," said Ballagh.

She has filed a $450,000 lawsuit against the bus driver, the bus aide and the Bedford County school system.

"I would like for Bedford County to say, ‘You know we messed up. We committed an egregious error. We are very apologetic, and this is what we are going to do to rectify this situation so this never happens again,'" said Ballagh.

The driver and the assistant are no longer school system employees. They were both convicted with misdemeanors for the abuse.

We were not able to reach the Bedford County School system for comment.

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