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Bus driver arrested following incident with student

Columbia Police arrested a First Student bus driver Tuesday morning for “unacceptable actions” against a student on the Shephard Boulevard Elementary School route.

55-year-old Robert Harris Braid was arrested for 3rd degree assault for hitting a 7-old-boy in the face with paper while on the bus.

Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark confirms the incident happened two weeks ago.

“I’ve never in my 17 years that I’ve been in education had a situation like this where an adult has struck a child,” said Jacquie Ward, the principal for Shepard Boulevard Elementary.

Until now.

For the past few days Ward has been working to confirm a parent’s report that a child was slapped by a bus driver.

The boy that was hit was not the one to come forward.

“It’s really hard when you get bus tapes to hear everything. Everything happens so fast,” said Ward.

Just before eight in the morning on March 7 on a First Student bus it became clear what happened.

“From what I have been able to tell from the video he was struck with a set of papers,” said Ward.

The 7-year-old was struck with papers across his face.

Why the child was hit is still not known.

It was not a bus driver that the students were used to.

Instead a substitute driver, that even the Columbia Public School district was not informed was driving.

Though Ward told ABC 17 News that that is not at all unusual because it would be impossible for First Student to inform the district of all sub changes each morning.

ABC 17 News reached out to First Student today and the company said it would not comment on the situation.

Baumstark told ABC 17 News the district requested Braid be removed, and added that Braid has been dismissed by First Student.

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