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Northern Minn. school bus driver charged for alleged abuse of first-grader

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A 73-year-old school bus driver lost his job and now faces a criminal charge for allegedly grabbing the back of a young student's neck and shaking him.

The Pine Journal reports Raymond Gordon Thomsen of Cloquet is charged with a misdemeanor for use of force.

According to the criminal complaint, police were notified after a middle school student witnessed the bus driver get physical with a first grade boy and reported it to her mother.

The girl said she saw the boy crying at the front of the bus on April 25 and Thomson would stand over the boy, grab the back of his neck and shake him, according to charges.

Bus surveillance video confirmed the girl's story, showing Thomsen repeat the abuse two or three times.

The video captured other behavior by the driver including intentionally stepping on children’s toes if their feet were in the aisle and slapping children’s hands if they held on to the seat in front of them, which Thomsen explained was a game.

Thomsen was fired from the Cloquet Transit Company on April 26.

If convicted, the misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

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