Councilmember Jeanette Burrage charged with slapping special needs student
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated on April 18, 2015 when the following videos were added:
by Jack Mayne
Des Moines City Councilmember Jeanette Burrage has been charged with assaulting a special needs student riding on a Highline School District bus she was driving.
King County Sheriff’s detectives investigated the March incident and then recommended fourth degree assault charges be filed against Burrage, a one-time state legislator and King County Superior Court judge.
The Sheriff’s office said it jointly investigated the case with the school district after school district employees that viewed the bus surveillance video from the afternoon routes on March 10 reported it to SeaTac Police on March 18. Police and school security officers initially responded to a disturbance on the bus but deputies said at the time there was no indication that an assault occurred. Following the incident, the student was taken home by school district security, said a Sheriff’s department spokesman.
An internal review of the bus surveillance video by district officials showed the driver slapping the child, who was standing on a seat at the time, said deputies. District officials immediately contacted SeaTac Police, who turned the matter over to the Sheriff’s office Special Assault Unit given their special experience with juvenile interviews. That unit worked with SeaTac Police to conclude the case.
Burrage, 62, has been driving buses for Highline Transportation since 2012.
She was placed on administrative leave by the school district.
Burrage has filed for reelection to the Des Moines City Council.
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