Ashland: Bus driver pleads not guilty to charges

ASHLAND -- A bus driver has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with an incident on her school route.

Cathy Goetz, 43, faces misdemeanor charges of assault, child endangering and aggravated menacing.

The judge in Ashland Juvenile Court released Goetz on personal bond and ordered her to have no contact with the 8-year-old boy in the incident.

The charges stem from an incident on Goetz's bus on January 17.

Goetz radioed dispatchers for help saying she was being kicked and threatened by the student. Dispatchers called 911

When the officer arrived on the scene, he escorted the eight-year-old off the bus and filed a report of an "unruly juvenile."Police reports indicate the child is autistic.

Days later police learned there was surveillance video and audio of the incident. After viewing the video, the same officer that responded to the call to help filed another report . Goetz was then charged in connection with the incident.

Goetz and her lawyer sought to have the media removed from the courtroom. The judge denied that request.

Superintendent Douglas Marrah said, " I was very unhappy...The business manager and I made a decision we had to remove the driver that day."

Asked whether the boy should have been on a different bus for special needs students, Marrah would not discuss whether the boy had special needs issues. But he did say often parents of such children want them to be in as normal a routine as possible.

He said the hearts of Ashland are going out to both families in this difficult situation.

Surveillance video. ****Note *** Nature of subject.


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