HISD bus driver accused of assaulting 5-year-old special needs student

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News & KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 30 at 6:31 PM

HOUSTON – An HISD bus driver has been arrested and charged with assaulting a 5-year-old special needs student.

Martha Johnson Dobbins, 65, is out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond on a charge of injury to a child.

According to court documents, Dobbins attacked Jquonte Frank earlier this month because she thought he had vandalized the school bus with a red marker.

An assistant on the bus first alerted HISD officials about the incident. She told them she asked Dobbins twice to stop hitting the crying 5-year-old, according to court documents.

Jquonte is a kindergarten student at Kashmere Gardens Elementary School. He is a slow learner, according to his parents.

They’re upset because they weren’t told about the allegations until April 16, two weeks after it happened.

"I feel betrayed, you know what I’m saying?" Francis Frank said. "I felt bad. It was something I couldn’t explain. I felt angry. I felt disappointed."

Frank said a supervisor told them that Dobbins repeatedly poked Jquonte in the eye.

But they didn’t know that Dobbins is also accused of hitting him in the head until we showed them the court document.

"This is very disturbing right now—that we have to find out this way," Frank said.

"I was sad cause we should have found out when it first happened," agree Elouise Boyd, Jquonte’s mother.

Dobbins initially denied that she hit Jquonte, but the attack was caught on surveillance tape.

Now the child’s parents want to see the video.

"I’d like to be satisfied into knowing why. I’d like to know why. His mother would like to know why," Frank said.

Jquonte’s parents say he loves school despite his disability. They hope this incident doesn’t change that.

HISD isn’t commenting on the case.

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