Mom sees horrifying FB video of child on school bus, finds out it's HER 6-yr-old autistic son
DETROIT, MICHIGAN: A distraught mother is demanding answers after she saw her severely autistic son screaming for help in a viral social media video.
Talysha Oldham, a substitute teacher in Detroit, is considering legal action after someone recorded a disturbing video of her specially-abled child on the school bus screaming for help. She recounted her horror when she came across the clip that was circulating on social media and found it was her own son. According to her, none of the officials alerted her to the fact that the incident took place on a school bus.
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“My family, we found out via social media — it was a video trending on Facebook,” Oldham told ABC 7 Detroit. Talysha Oldham explained how her son, Adriel, 6, was returning from school on the bus when another child recorded a video of what happened to him. The footage showed Adriel being held down by the bus driver as he screamed. “When he came home, the bus driver told me that he can't ride my bus anymore, he can't ride my bus, he has to find another mode of transportation,” Oldham added.
Oldham has been a teacher in Detroit for over a decade and used to work in the Detroit Public School Community District. She was shocked to see the clip making the rounds on social media. She said Adriel's father told her it was their little boy in the video, with his legs in the air screaming. “First thing I heard was my son screaming, then I could see this lady sitting on my son and striking him,” Oldham said.
She said the six-year-old barely speaks. “He can tell you his basic needs whether he's hungry or if he has to use the restroom, he can't tell you if he's been harmed or if someone has done something to him,” Oldham explained to ABC 7. The incident occurred in November 2021, after which Adriel's mother visited his school twice in the same week to discuss his behavior and his Individualized Education Program (IEP) to ensure he was being properly cared for with his disability.
“Have you ever seen him have a meltdown?” ABC 7 Detroit's Carolyn Clifford asked the embattled mother. “I've seen him have a meltdown, yes, but it's easy for us to correct because he has therapy weekly,” Oldham explained. She said there are usually only a few kids on the bus when her son is picked up or dropped off. On that particular day, however, there were "plenty of kids" on the bus.
According to Oldham, the bus driver told her Adriel had attacked her on the bus. However, she allegedly failed to explained what exactly transpired during the trip home. “Even if she had a difficult time with him, she could have handled that differently,” Oldham argued. “She could have pulled the bus over, she could have called dispatch and let them know she had a problem.”
The Detroit Public Schools Community district told ABC 7 that the bus driver and her assistant — who work for a separate contracted bus service and are not employed by the DPS — had been banned from transporting DPSCD students. "The District is aware of the incident and video circulating through social media," Chrystal Wilson, Assistant Superintendent Detroit Public Schools Community District, said in a statement. "Both the bus driver (employee of the bus company) and attendant (district employee) have been removed from servicing DPSCD students and schools pending an investigation regarding the incident."
When Clifford asked whether the move provided "some comfort," Oldham said, “When you work with kids, especially kids with disabilities, you should be trained." She has since filed a police report and switched her son to another school. After confirming with several doctors that the child was not injured and has no lingering issues, he is currently being homeschooled, the mother said. “What more do you want to see happen?” Clifford asked Oldham. “I would like to see legal action, I would like to press charges on her,” she said.