Video appears to show council member striking autistic child

DES MOINES, Wash. — School bus video appears to show Jeanette Burrage hitting an autistic 6-year-old child on the bus the Des Moines City Council member was driving last month.

On Friday, the Highline School District said the process of terminating Burrage is ongoing following an investigation of the incident.

Burrage, who is a former King County Superior Court judge, told KIRO 7 she might appeal the district’s decision and is not stepping down from the City Council.

The 6-year-old’s mother saw the video.

"I was really hurt and stunned,” said Elizabeth Lyshol, the mother of 6-year-old Christian.

"Just a profound sense of disbelief,” said Lyshol.

Lyshol say part of that disbelief is because her son never should have been on the bus in the first place.

She says her son thrives on routine because of his autism -- and always gets a ride home in a Highline School District van with other special-needs kids.

But on March 10 -- without anybody asking her -- Christian was put in a school bus for a ride home. Officials first told Lyshol that her son attacked the driver. But then, she saw the video, which shows Christian get increasingly agitated.

"I think that he just really wanted to get off the bus,” said Lyshol.

Burrage stops the bus and Christian -- who is standing on a seat -- paws at her, the video shows.

She then can be seen slapping the child.

Burrage is facing fourth-degree assault charges out of SeaTac.

"I feel like those are the necessary consequences for her actions,” said Lyshol.

The mayor of Des Moines told KIRO 7 on Friday that “many” people are coming forward to ask for Burrage’s resignation from the City Council.

Burrage told KIRO 7 she will not run for re-election to her council seat.