NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News police said a school bus assistant allegedly slapped a 4-year-old boy in the face after the child had spit on her.
Police were called Feb. 10 to Brookside Drive for a report of a past assault. Officers met with the boy’s mother, who said her son was assaulted on a school bus on Jan. 25.
She had reportedly been told of the incident by Child Protective Services.
Police said the woman’s son spit on the assistant, 64-year-old Doll Shelton, of Hampton, who then slapped him in the face. It is unclear what led up to the incident.
“He said that he did spit, when I asked him Friday. He said he blew at her. He went, ‘Pfft,’ like that, at her, and the result was she hit him in the head,” said the child’s mother, Brandi Pratt.
Pratt said her son attends Watkins Early Childhood Center and has been working on behavioral issues. She said the school district alerted her to an incident involving the bus assistant and her son last month, but she did not learn about the alleged assault until last week.
“I don’t want him to think, ‘Okay, they can hit me. That’s okay, they’re an adult.’ No, it’s not okay,” Pratt said.
When asked what she would say to those who believe it is also not okay to spit on someone else, Pratt replied, “Yes, of course, you know, [he] did get in trouble for that. He knows you can’t spit on people. That is really…nasty…just to spit on somebody, but you still can’t hit.”
Pratt said she wants to see Shelton arrested and wants an apology.
“I want her to say sorry. I’ll forgive her for what she’s done, but I want her to be held accountable as well. You just shouldn’t hit people’s children.”
A spokesperson for Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) said the school district was not aware of any other incidents involving Shelton or other staff and the child.
NNPS, Child Protective Services, and Newport News Police are investigating.
Shelton is no longer employed with NNPS because of the incident, police said. Police issued a warrant on Feb. 13 for an assault charge, and as of late Thursday afternoon, had not yet arrested her.
WAVY News attempted to contact Shelton at an address and phone number listed under her name, but could not reach her.