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Son with autism abused by driver on bus, mother says

"You don't leave marks on a 4-year-old child like this without using excessive force."

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -- A Henry County mother is furious after her son returned home with marks and bruises that she believe came from employees of the school transportation department.

Callie Snow took to social media at first to make her plea that the bus driver and other adults who were on the bus on Aug. 3 should be disciplined.

"It was much later when I got him inside that I noticed everything on him," she told 11Alive.

She said they immediately called the school to find out what happened and was told that the incident fell to the department of transportation.

Her suspicions were confirmed when her husband apparently watched the bus video of that moment. Snow said her son, who doesn’t speak and has autism, got scared when a bus monitor tried to move him from his seat to another.

“He was upset but safely buckled into the seat and should have been left alone,” Callie said. “When they tried to move him, he was overwhelmed and confused.”

She said he wouldn’t get in the other seat, so the aide backed away and let him calm down. That’s when she said the male bus driver picked him up and forcefully placed him in the seat.

“From this point in the video, the driver’s and aide’s backs are blocking the view of the camera,” she wrote. “All you can hear is my child screaming and crying in pain.”

Upon making her report, social services visited her house and interviewed the child and others to make sure that the injuries were not sustained at home. Callie said they found no reason to believe that he was hurt at home, placing the concern back on those who were in the bus that day.

But as the department investigated, Callie said the aide and the driver were still on the job – something she knew because she passed them as she started taking her child to school.

"They were literally laughing. Like, 'Oh my gosh, we learned our lesson. We will never do that again, he needs his routine, he needs to be in his seat," she said.

She later found that the transportation department had closed the case. Callie said she finds that unacceptable.

“You don’t leave marks on a 4-year-old child like this without using excessive force,” she said. “Absolutely nothing makes this acceptable and the board of education needs to be held accountable for who they place our children in the care of.”

The school system has released the following statement adding that while the matter was closed internally, reports are on file with law enforcement:

We are aware that transportation employees had to respond to a student with regards to the proper seating restraints on one of our buses. The safety and wellbeing of all of our students is our greatest concern, whether that be on school grounds or utilizing school district transportation.

Immediately after it was brought to our attention, the matter in question was thoroughly investigated by all the proper authorities. We will continue to work to ensure that all students are transported safely to and from school on a daily basis.

As for the video of the incident, the school system said it typically does not release video that includes children.