Polk County school bus attendant accused of abusing 3 disabled children, 3 disabled adults

Suspect's first court appearance scheduled for Friday


POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A Polk County school bus attendant is a accused of abusing three disabled children and three disabled adults, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Juanita Tappin, 43, of Lakeland, was charged with three counts of child abuse and three counts of abuse of a disabled adult.

Investigators said court documents show the investigation started after a special needs child riding a bus to the Doris A. Sanders Learning Center told school officials Tappin hit her.

The school nurse noticed two red welts on the victim’s face, according to investigators.

The other victims were also abused on a bus ride to school, according to investigators.

Some of the victims are nonverbal.

Tappin was transported to the Polk County Jail.

Her first court appearance is at 1 p.m. on May 10.

She was been placed on paid administrative leave, according to the sheriff’s office.

She was hired on Jan. 27, 2014.

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