Former Idaho school bus driver to serve probation for injuring 9-year-old with disability

Editors note: This story has been corrected from its original version. Anna Brown pleaded guilty by entering an Alford plea to misdemeanor disturbing the peace.

The former Emmett school bus driver accused of dragging a 9-year-old boy on the bus pleaded guilty this week to misdemeanor disturbing the peace, a charge that was amended down from misdemeanor injury to child, and will serve probation.

Anna Brown was sentenced Tuesday in Gem County after being accused of physically grabbing and verbally confronting the 9-year-old boy in April 2018. A video depicting the altercation showed Brown verbally confronting the child was made public after a public records request from the Statesman last year.

“I don’t care if I hurt you,” Brown tells the child in the video as she struggled to pull him out of a bus seat and move him to the front of the bus after what she characterized as misbehavior.

3rd Judicial District Magistrate Judge Robert Jackson sentenced Brown to 10 days in jail, but suspended nine of the days and she was credited for the one day she already served. She must serve six months of unsupervised probation and complete court-ordered community service, according to online court records.

He also granted her a withheld judgment, meaning if she successfully completes probation, she could go back before the court and have the charge dismissed from her record. Brown entered an Alford plea, which means she did not acknowledge guilt for the charge but admitted that there was enough evidence to convict her.

The mother of the child previously told the Statesman that she thought her child was assaulted and reported the incident to police after seeing the video of the driver.

The boy was a third grader at Shadow Butte Elementary at the time and has some disabilities, including sensory perception disorder. He had an aide and was sitting where the aide instructed him to, according to a police affidavit.

The probable cause affidavit in Brown’s case stated that when the child fell during the confrontation with the driver, he injured his knee and stayed on the floor of the bus, crying and refusing to get up. At that point, Brown called administration, according to the document.

Brown resigned within two days after the incident, Emmett School District Superintendent Wayne Rush said at the time.

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Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.